Iraqi Kurds say West not providing enough arms to defeat ISIL
REUTERS PhotoIraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani said Kurdish requests from the international coalition for heavy weapons in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have not been fully met.
Speaking to FRANCE 24, Barzani thanked France and members of the international coalition for its help in the fight against ISIL. But, he noted, the coalition has failed to deliver on the quantity and quality of heavy weapons needed to stop the IS assault in Iraq.
“All the support that we have received so far is not up to the level that is needed,” said Barzani. “The heavy weapons systems that we need, especially in terms of the quality and quantity, for example the APCs [armoured personnel carriers], the helicopters, the artillery we need for a decisive war against them – we have not received these types of weapons.”
When asked why Kurdish fighters, who are on the vanguard of the fight against ISIL, have not received critical heavy weapons systems, Barzani said he had no answers, only questions.
“Is there a ceiling on the heavy weapons systems that we should receive in terms of the quantity and quality? The answer is not very clear to us.”
Barzani’s comments came as Kurdish peshmerga fighters in Syria have been waging a pitched battle against ISIL for control of the Syrian border town of Kobane. Kurdish fighters, aided by coalition airstrikes, have made progress in recent days, but there have not been significant gains or losses on either side.
“The war is not finished,” explained Barzani. “It’s true that the Islamic State has been weakened, but they have not lost complete capability of attack.”
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