Hodjanernes Blog

27 marts 2015

Proposed US bill: recognize Iraq’s Kurds as ‘partners’ and arm them directly

Filed under: Irak, ISIS, Kurdistan, Penge, Peshmerga, Politik, USA/Canada, Våben — Hodja @ 13:38

A new bill introduced in the US Congress calls on the White House to directly arm and assist the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in its war with Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL).

The proposed legislation by Republican congressmen Ed Royce of California, who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Eliot Engel of New York, calls on Washington to tender Iraqi Kurds as a “reliable and stable partner of the United States.”

So far, Washington has refused to directly arm the Kurds, instead sending weapons through the central government in Baghdad, resulting in continuous complaints by Kurdish officials of delays and non-delivery.

According to the text of the legislation, the aim of the bill is “to authorize the direct provision of defense articles, defense services and related training to the Kurdistan Regional Government.”

The most striking feature of the bill, which is similar to the failed H.R.5747 proposal introduced last year, is its recognition of “Iraqi Kurds” as a partner of the US.

This is something that Kurdish officials have been demanding, with the aim of turning political relations with Washington into an institutional one. It is their way of trying to mitigate the risks of what the Kurds call “American betrayal” of their national movement in the past.

“Our critical partner in the fight against ISIL is in great need of heavy weapons and armored vehicles,” the proposed bill says. “We haven’t gotten Iraqi Kurdish ‘Peshmerga’ forces what they need. Even so, they have proven to be the most effective ground force currently fighting ISIL,” Royce was quoted as saying by the website of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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