Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered his air force for the first time to back Kurdish forces against Islamic State fighters after the Sunni militants made another dramatic push through the north, state television reported on Monday.
Kurdish peshmerga fighters, who cut their teeth fighting Saddam Hussein’s troops, were regarded as one of the few forces capable of standing up to the Sunni insurgents who faced almost no opposition from Maliki’s U.S.-trained army during their lightning advance through the north in June.
Then on Sunday the Islamic State inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Kurds with a rapid advance through three towns to reach the Mosul Dam, acquiring a fifth oil field to fund its operations along the way. . .