Obama Starves Kurds of Weapons
- Comrade Obama is starving the pro-American Kurds of weapons in their fight against ISIS.
- Meanwhile the CIA is continuing to ship mountains of weapons to "moderate" Islamists in Syria to overthrow the pro-Russian government that is also fighting ISIS.
(The Hill) - 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 "political friction" was leading to a slow and unfair distribution of weapons to Kurdish units.
For example, only 25 of the 250 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) delivered to Baghdad in January have gone to the peshmerga, she said. Deliveries of M-4 rifles, M3 anti-tank weapons, body armor and trucks have also fallen short.
"Some of our weapons date back to the Second World War," she said.
Rahman said she appreciated efforts by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and ranking member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) to address the problem. The two reintroduced legislation to send arms directly to the Kurds two weeks ago. The bill is co-sponsored by 31 other lawmakers, including eight Democrats.
So far, the Obama administration prefers to funnel weapons through Baghdad to avoid undermining the Shia-dominated central government.
"Erbil is part of Iraq. It does not undermine Iraq to deliver weapons to where they are needed most urgently," Rahman responded.
"We are now in our ninth month of fighting ISIS. We continue to have shortfalls of counter-[improvised explosive device] equipment, armored vehicles, anti-armor weapons, and don't forget ISIS captured the latest American weaponry that had been delivered to the Iraqi Army," Rahman said.
Rahman also said that only three peshmerga brigades, of 12 Iraqi brigades total, are slated to receive coalition training.
"We believe that three brigades is simply not enough. We have over 150,000 peshmerga. We need training for all of them," she said. "We have not only demonstrated our political will to fight, but we will continue to do so, but we need the United States and the coalition partners to step up the effort, to deliver weapons, and the kinds of weapons we need."
"Time is not a luxury that we can afford. Having deliveries delayed in Baghdad only defeats the objective of fighting ISIS quickly," she added.
Rahman said more than 1,000 Kurds have been killed and more than 5,000 wounded.
Retired Air Force Gen. Charles Wald, a former European Command deputy commander who spoke at the event, urged more help, calling it "immoral" to only give the Kurds 25 armored vehicles for their fight.Read More . . . .
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