NEW YORK, October 15 (RIA Novosti) – Kurdish Peshmerga forces are out-gunned by the Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and need heavy-duty weapons from the United States and its allies, Najat Abdullah, an official from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) office in Washington, told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
"The Islamic State has captured heavy, US-made weapons from the collapsed Iraqi security forces in Mosul and elsewhere in Iraq. The Peshmerga are substantially out-gunned. If they are to degrade and destroy ISIS in these areas, they will need heavy, armor-defeating munitions and armored vehicles," Abdullah said.
"We continue to request this equipment from the US government and international partners," the official added.
According to Abdullah, Kurdish Peshmerga forces have been fighting against IS militants in Iraq's Ninawa (Nineveh), Kirkuk and Diyala governorates since August 6, 2014.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been launching attacks in northern and western Iraq since June. The radical Sunni group has also been fighting the Syrian government since 2012.
In August, the United States authorized airstrikes against IS positions in Iraq.
In September, US President Barack Obama announced the establishment of an international coalition to fight the IS and also said the United States would be arming and equipping Kurds, Iraqis and Syria's moderate opposition in an effort to eradicate the terrorist organization.
The anti-IS coalition, which comprises more than 60 countries, according to the US State Department, has been conducting airstrikes against IS militants in Iraq and Syria.