Iraq’s outgoing deputy prime minister Rowsch Shaways, who also serves as a commander for the Kurdish forces leading an offensive against the Islamic State in Mosul, has blamed Baghdad for the blocking of necessary weapon shipments to Peshmerga in order to combat the terrorist organization.
“We have not had the delivery of weapons from our international partners. Right now Baghdad is the reason why this hasn’t happened,” Shaways said to Rudaw News. Concerned, he stated that “If [Baghdad] wants to defeat ISIS – our common enemy – then they will make sure we get the weapons as soon as possible.”
“[We have] seen nothing of the new weapons,” said General Sirwan Barzani.
Many are pointing fingers at Nouri al-Maliki for the faulty communication between nations such the United States, France, Albania, Italy, Germany and Britain, who have said they are willing to provide military aid to theautonomous Kurds in the fight against the Islamic State, notes Rudaw.
Each of the nations has been attempting to broker and coordinate the weapons delivery through Baghdad. However, the severely strained relations between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government, blamed on al-Maliki, has been central to why many believe the weapons have yet to be received.
Al-Maliki, on August 14, relinquished his post as Iraq’s prime minister after eight years to his replacement, Prime Minister-designate Haider-al-Abadi.
Kurdish parties are reportedly working with the al-Abadi administration to form a government; however, many are fearful that the perceived disastrous course set by his predecessor al-Maliki could be difficult to reverse, notes Rudaw.
Mutual cooperation between the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga resulted in the successful recapture of the Mosul Dam this week. The Associated Press noted that the Islamic State denied losing control of the dam, dismissing the claim by the government as a “mere propaganda war.”
Kurdish leaders reportedly acknowledge that the larger task of recapturing Mosul, without suffering heavy casualties at the hands of the Islamic State, will require a serious arms upgrade for the Kurdish and Peshmerga forces.