WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States plans in coordination with the Iraqi central government to expedite delivery of weapons to Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga and Sunni tribal forces as part of a renewed effort to push back the Islamic State (ISIL), the White House announced in a statement on Wednesday.
“The President has also directed the expedited delivery of essential equipment and materiel in coordination with the central government to Iraqi forces, including Peshmerga and tribal fighters, operating under Iraqi command, to ensure that our partners have the equipment needed to effectively fight ISIL,” the White House said.
The new mission will train Sunni forces to fight the ISIL in its stronghold of the Al-Anbar province after the Iraqi army melted away in Ramadi last month.
The Kurds have repeatedly complained over the past year of insufficient weapons delivery, which happened in large part due to the US government’s policy of channeling weapons through the central government.
Baghdad and the Kurds maintain an often tense relationship, which has prevented the delivery of more advanced weapons systems – including anti-tank weapons — to the Peshmerga to counter the ISIL.