Over 40 years of conflict and the ISIS occupation left Kurdish soil littered with deadly landmines and IEDs. In 2016, the Kurdish Army, the Peshmerga, lost more soldiers to IEDs than in direct combat with ISIS. MLI responded to this threat by assisting the Peshmerga in establishing an 18-dog K9 Unit and training Peshmerga handlers to utilize the mine and explosive detection dogs safely and effectively. Through this program, which was made possible by the generosity of MLI supporters and the U.S. Department of Defense, more than 60,000 square meters of land and thousands of cars and homes have been searched for explosives by the lifesaving dogs!
MLI is continuing to help the Peshmerga complete training and certify its mine detection dog teams. To support demining efforts in Iraqi Kurdistan, Spirit of America provided the Peshmerga's K9 Unit with bomb suits, metal detectors, and dog food and medicine, all of which will help make the K9 Unit fully operational. MLI thanks Spirit of America for supporting the Peshmerga and our efforts to help clear northern Iraq of explosives, return safe land to the people, and help refugees and the internally displaced return safely to their homes. Please read more here.
Left photo: Spirit of America Project Managers Zack Bazzi (second from left) and Joshua Brandon (third from right) are helping to support demining efforts in Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo courtesy of Spirit of America.
Right photo: Mine Detection Dog Marschall, donated to the Peshmerga in 2018. Photo courtesy of Spirit of America.