By John Lee.
The Pentagon–home to the US Department of Defence–has announced that there are now a total of 7 countries arming Kurdish forces in Iraq.
A spokesman said those nations were Britain, Canada, Albania, Croatia, Denmark, Italy and France. Germany may soon follow. In a sign of the sudden onset of the crisis, a source in the Kurdish Regional Government noted that there were now as many as 300,000 Kurdish “Peshmerga” forces.
If this is the case, it represents a 200% increase in men under arms in the Kurdish region, to confront the threat of the so called “Islamic State”.
The Pentagon statement comes as Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Iran has already supplied arms to the Kurds, in another sign of how desperate the situation is for embattled units confronting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
However, Kurdish and Iraqi forces have recently been making advances against ISIL, in some cases backed by US air strikes, such as in the re-taking of the Mosul dam, but in other cases unassisted by US air power.
(Source: Voice of America)