April 13, 2015 | Quote
Kurdish Official Hits Administration Over Delayed Weapons
Kurdish peshmerga forces fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are only receiving a fraction of promised U.S. military support, a top Kurdish official warned on Monday.
“President Obama's Iraq train-and-equip fund, which comes to $1.6 billion, gave us great hope that American weapons would be delivered in early 2015,” said Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the Kurdistan Regional Government's representative to the U.S., said at a Bipartisan Policy Center event.
“But since the passage of the law approving the train-and-equip fund, the vast majority of those weapons have not been delivered.”
Rahman said the peshmerga has contributed the “lion's share of the fight against ISIS” in Iraq and blamed the lack of support on the Obama administration's decision to send weapons to Baghdad instead of directly to the Kurds.
Rahman said “political friction” was leading to a slow and unfair distribution of weapons to Kurdish units.
John Hannah, former assistant for national security to Vice President Cheney, said there were larger stakes in helping the pro-Western Kurds than just the war against Iraq.
“We ought to be pulling out a lot of the stops,” he said.
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