US military officials are reporting that the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq took delivery of three planeloads of weapons from Bulgaria sometimes in September. The quantity of the arms caught US officials off guard, and has apparently irked the Iraqi central government, with Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani calling the unauthorized importation a “violation” of Iraqi law.
Besides doing it apparently behind the back of the central government, the timing of the importation is also interesting: it came just after a standoff between Iraqi central government forces and the Peshmerga in Khanaqin.
On the other hand Peshmerga almost ended up battling Turkish ground forces during its eight day invasion of northern Iraq in February. That they were buying an enormous quantity of arms suggests that, whether Turkish or Iraqi forces, the Kurdish government seems to envision some sort of major impending conflict in the normally quiet Kurdish region.
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