Committee of US House of Representatives passes bill to directly arm Kurds
The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee approved a law permitting sending arms and other supplies directly to Kurdish Peshmerga troops operating in northern Iraq.
|At present any deliveries of weapons and supplies must be routed through the central government in Baghdad. Representative Ed Royce, a California Republican, accused the Baghdad central government of routinely delaying delivery of arms to the Kurdish peshmerga forces: "This legislation cuts through the bureaucratic tape to get arms, training and medicine directly to Kurdish forces."|
"The mechanism by which that works is there is customs approval by the Iraqi government ... but there's no delay. A large number of arms and other kinds of equipment have reached the Iraqi Kurds from us and, I think I should say, by 12 other countries."Carter did admit arms to be sent to Sunni forces battling the Islamic State move "much more slowly, frustratingly through the Iraqi government." Note the shipments to the Kurds do not go directly to Kurdistan but first must go through customs at Baghdad. There have been delays at that stage. For example, a Canadian transport plane was held in Baghdad for several days and eventually sent back to Kuwait. It had a shipment of arms and equipment for the Kurds.