The ever-escalating Iraq War is becoming less and less about Iraq and more about the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), with growing aid being thrown at the Peshmerga fighters that are doing much of the heavy lifting in the war.
Only weeks ago it was unthinkable that the US would directly arm the Peshmerga. Now, not only are they openly doing so, but several European nations are as well. ISIS, of course, is largely using US arms as well, looted from Mosul or given to them by the US in Syria.
US officials visiting the nation are less interested in going to Baghdad than Irbil at this point, and US airstrikes are being conducted so far primarily to back Peshmerga battles, not the fights between ISIS and the Iraqi military further south.
Kurdish analysts are expecting this to pay off big down the road, adding to the autonomous KRG region’s global influence, and making it easier to secede from Iraq in the future.