US starts directly providing Kurdish forces in Iraq with weapons
The United States has started directly proving military weapons to the Kurdish forces in northern Iraq who are currently battling Islamic State militants. Previously, the United States had insisted on selling arms solely to the Iraqi government in Baghdad, but the Kurdish fighters have been losing ground to Islamic State militants in recent weeks.
The move to directly aid the Kurdish forces shows how concerned the United States is about the Islamic State’s gains in the northern part of Iraq. The United States recently started providing airstrikes against Islamic State militants in order to assist the Kurdish forces, who have started to make gains against the militants after weeks of losses.
In the last few days, the United States military has been helping facilitate the delivery of weapons from the Iraqis to the Kurds by providing logistic assistance and transportation to the northern part of Iraq. However, now it looks like the United States will simply begin proving weapons to the Kurdish forces directly, as a senior official for the Pentagon says that the administration is very close to approving plans to help arm the Kurds.
Speaking to reporters, United States Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the airstrikes “have been very effective from all the reports that we’ve received on the ground”. While Mr. Hagel declined to provide more details on when and how the United States will expand its assistance to Iraq, he did say that the United States military is “going to continue to support the Iraqi security forces in every way that we can as they request assistance there.”
Read more about the story at The Guardian.