About Time: U.S. to Arm Kurds Directly

The Obama administration has announced it will arm the militia forces of Iraqi Kurdistan, to prevent the fall of the final bastion of pro-US territory in Iraq.

The weaponry is said to be light arms and ammunition, brokered not through the department of defense – which supplies Baghdad and its security forces with heavy weaponry – but the Central Intelligence Agency, which is better positioned to supply the Kurdish peshmerga with Russian-made guns like AK-47s that the US military does not use. The news was first reported by the Associated Press.

US officials say they are not currently considering providing Kurdish forces, which are not under the control of the Iraqi government in Baghdad, with missiles, armored vehicles or helicopters. The move to arm them raises questions about how the US-provided rifles will affect the military balance against the Islamic State (Isis), which has captured US-supplied armored Humvees and other heavy weapons from the Iraqi military. . .

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