ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Gen. Fazil Barwari, Kurdish commander of Iraq’s elite Golden Division that scored major victories over ISIS, has died of a reported heart attack.
Barwari, 52, was born in Duhok, Kurdistan Region. He joined the Peshmerga at a young age and worked with the US army to topple Saddam Hussein.
He led Iraq’s highly trained and outfitted special forces. Trained by the US, the Golden Division ranks among the most elite forces in the Middle East and were at the forefront of the war against ISIS in Iraq.
His unit said they are in mourning for their “heroic leader,” in a statement reacting to his death.
Barwari is credited with building up the division that ousted ISIS from places like Tikrit, Ramadi, Fallujah, and Mosul where they suffered enormous casualties.