Washington, DC, USA (us.gov.krd) - The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) presented Peshmerga K9 Team Leader Karzan Khalid and his dog Micro-Scout with the 2017 Explosive Detection Dog Team of the Year Award on September 10, 2018. The awards ceremony and reception was hosted at the Kurdistan Regional Government Representation in Washington and included a mine detection dog demonstration by MLI’s retired Mine Detection Dog.
The Marshall Legacy Institute is a non-profit organization that trains and delivers landmine and explosives-detecting dogs to mine clearance organizations around the world to support humanitarian missions. Since 2016, MLI has donated 16 highly-trained mine and explosive detection dogs to the Ministry of Peshmerga to support their counter-ISIL operations.
Landmines and unexploded remnants of war remain a significant problem in Kurdistan, stemming from the Iran-Iraq War, 1991 Gulf War, 2003 US liberation, and the ISIS occupation that began in 2014. In 2016 the Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA) registered 2,711 confirmed hazardous areas and 491 suspected hazardous areas in Kurdistan, covering 154 square miles. Mines Advisory Group has estimated that there are 7,000,000 landmines in Kurdistan.