The United States is now providing Kurdish forces with weapons in an effort to combat Islamic State (IS) militants. Previously, arms were only sold to Iraq forces in Baghdad, but Kurdish peshmerga soldiers were allowed access to American weapons as they fight to stop further IS violence and persecution.
The agency providing arms is unknown; an official said the Pentagon is not sending the weapons. However, “The CIA has historically done similar quiet arming operations,” the AP reports.
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that IS forces “obtained some heavy weaponry, and the Kurds need additional arms and we're providing those.” According to Psaki, the Iraqi government is also providing arms to Kurdish soldiers.
On Sunday, Kurdish forces recovered two Iraq towns from IS control, with the assistance of U.S. airstrikes.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said, “We're going to continue to support the Iraqi security forces in every way that we can as they request assistance there.”
Publication date: August 11, 2014