For a long time one of ISIS’ fiercest opponents have been asking the US for aid, and after Tuesday they will finally be getting it.
In a historic move, the US has officially agreed to $415 million in military assistance to the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq.
The Peshmerga forces who will be receiving the aid have long gone without essential supplies during their campaign against ISIS: in June, it was reported that even the Baghdad government had refused to allocate a budget for them — even though they are considered to be a part of Iraq’s defence system.
In a statement from Al Jazeera, Delawer Haider Hosheet, a Peshmerga sergeant claims, “I have a lot of friends who still have not paid their rent for the last three months of last year. They owe so much money to the grocery shop and the bazaar.”
This US assistance comes at a crucial time as ISIS territory in Iraq shrinks — in 2015, it decreased by 40% from its maximum expansion. As the battle to reclaim Mosul — Iraq’s second largest city — looms near, the US seems intent on helping all the major parties involved in the final push to rid ISIS of their remaining hub in the country.
In addition to the 560 US troops that were recently committed to the region, air assets, such as Apache attack helicopters, have been reported to be made available.
However, the move has been spurned by some critics in Iraq, claiming that there were “under-the-table agreements” between the US and Iraq in order to satisfy the deal.
According to Al Jazeera though, US officials have rejected the implication and remained adamant that their focus is recapturing ISIS-held territory.
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