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Code of Conduct for the Peshmerga


Media Center, Ministry of Peshmerga

Kurdistan Regional Government
Ministry of Peshmerga
Code of Conduct for the Peshmerga Forces

“Peshmerga is a Fighter, Not Killer”

The Peshmerga Forces under the Ministry of Peshmerga are professional military forces and are fully determined to comply with the Code of Conduct.Adherence to the code of conduct is an inherent commitment and part of the training of the Peshmerga forces on behaving and performing his/her duties in a responsible way while respecting humanitarian principles in all situations, but in specific to, situations of armed conflict.

With this, I, as a member of the Peshmerga Forces, pledge to abide by the following rules:

Rule 1: I only engage in military objectives and I do not attack civilians or civilian objects.

Rule 2: When engaging military objectives, I ensure that expected collateral damage is not excessive to the expected military advantage. I take all feasible precautions to avoid or minimize collateral damage.

Rule 3: I do not use prohibited weapons or engage in any methods of warfare that do not comply with the rules listed in this code of conduct.

Rule 4: As soon as, the war situation permits, I will do my very best to collect and care for the wounded, sick and dead, whether friend or enemy and provide information, if any, on missing persons. At the same time, I will be cautious to assure safety of myself and my Peshmerga fellows.

Rule 5: I treat all people humanely and respect their fundamental rights. I do not harm those fighters or civilians who surrender or detained or otherwise come under my control. Torture of detainees and prisoners of war is totally prohibited.

Rule 6: I do not take hostages or use them and civilians as human shields. I avoid locating my military objects near or amongst civilian populations and civilian objects. I commit to respect the places of religious and cultural origins.

Rule 7: I ensure to safeguard civilian population and respect their private and public properties.

Rule 8: I do not displace the civilian populations unless required for their own security or imperative military reasons. I allow and facilitate the displaced populations to resettle in accordance with their own free will. Displacement of the civilian population must not last longer than absolutely necessary.

Rule 9: I respect women and do not commit or permit rape or sexual abuse against anyone.

Rule 10: I make sure that children have the aid and care they require and I refrain from attacks on schools and I don’t use schools as military objects unless required for imperative military reasons for a very short period of time. Any forced and voluntary recruitment of children below the age of 18 years old and using them as hostilities is totally prohibited.

Rule 11: I allow and facilitate humanitarian relief for civilians in need.

Rule 12: I respect and protect medical teams and objects, including those bearing the Red Cross/Red Crescent/Red Crystals, and other symbols of humanitarians and media agencies. Any unlawful use of such symbols is prohibited.

Rule 13: I abstain from reprisals and any inhuman and brutal acts of vengeance in violation of LOAC (law of armed conflict) even if my enemy commits such violations.

Rule 14: I, solely, pledge to abide by and respect the sanctity of this code of conduct based on law of armed conflict. Any violations are totally prohibited and whoever commits such violations will be sanctioned and face military sentences according to the violation. Torture or other inhuman or degrading treatments are strictly prohibited when applying these sanctions.