Iraqi Kurds Push US to Arm Peshmerga Against ISIS

Delegation Seeks Sales of Advanced US Arms, Vehicles

The Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) delegation recently in the US spent much of their time meeting with officials to talk up the ongoing war with ISIS in Iraq, and seeking the sales of advanced US arms and vehicles for the Peshmerga paramilitary.

The US has long been friendly with the KRG, and would normally be open to sales to the Peshmerga. The tensions between the KRG and the Maliki government, however, coupled with Kurdish moves toward secession, may change that.

The Obama Administration has reiterated its opposition to Kurdish secession, and as they throw arms at the Iraqi military they are unlikely to want to make the Peshmerga any stronger, if it means they’ll eventually be fighting a war of independence against the Maliki government.

Officials say they’re looking at ways to improve the Peshmerga’s chances against the ISIS fighters sweeping through Iraq, but are unlikely to send them actual weapons without the permission of Maliki.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.