Have The Kurdish Militias Battling IS Lost Their Way?

ince Islamic State (IS) militants began the surge that captured vast swaths of Iraq last summer, Iraqi Kurdish militias — known as the Peshmerga — have emerged as a key ally and proxy force for the U.S.-led anti-IS coalition in northern Iraq.

In August, the United States reversed its policy of banning the direct transfer of arms to the Iraqi Kurds and requested that Australia help transport arms and munitions to the Peshmerga as part of a multinational effort.

Since then, other countries, including Italy and Germany, have also supplied weapons and ammunition, while military advisers from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and elsewhere have been involved in training Peshmerga forces.

But a new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) warns that this military aid has been given without any underlying strategy. Such “stopgap” aid risks prolonging the battle with IS as well as inflaming other local conflicts, the report said.

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  • Palidor

    First off the Peshmerga is NOT a united force. About half support Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the other half support Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The PUK and KDP are rivals for power in Kurdistan. I’d like to know just which Peshmerga side the West has been supporting because if all these weapons were given to only one side they are going to turn around and wipe out their rivals in a mass slaughter.

    • Those are good questions. Neither Turkey or Iran are friends of the Kurds as well.

      Every time you turn around in the ME you open a new Pandora’s box.

      • FactsWillOut

        Pandora’s box also contained Hope. There is no hope in the ME. The entire region (except for Israel) should be glassed, annexed, colonized and exploited.
        Same with Africa.

      • Palidor

        It get even more complicated. The KDP is close with Turkey but enemies with Iran. The PUK is close to Iran and PKK (Kurdish rebels from Turkey) but enemies of the Turks. However, they are all enemies of ISIS Arabs.

    • Norman_In_New_York

      In addition, there are disparate Kurdish factions in Turkey, Syria and Iran. Uniting them all will require diplomacy of the highest order.

      • David

        Diplomacy in the shape of an iron fist methinks.

    • Una Salus

      So what? Who said they need to be a united force? The objective here is to prevent the spread of ISIS not to formulate worst case scenarios for Kurds. The alternative for them if defeated is bleak enough.

      • Palidor

        Just read the last paragraph.

        But a new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) warns that this military aid has been given without any underlying strategy. Such “stopgap” aid risks prolonging the battle with IS as well as inflaming other local conflicts.

        • Una Salus

          Prolonging the battle with IS is what this is all about moonbat.

  • Una Salus

    The underlying strategy is to prevent IS from overtaking the region and exterminating the Kurds amongst others. Not to cede the region to a newly formed Islamic State which the West can negotiate with. This is a crappy recomendation from a crappy organisation.