Fighters who are battling the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group on the ground are running dangerously low on ammo, telling the media that they may only have a few days of ammunition reserves left before they become defenseless against the jihadists.
A tribal leader told London-based and Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat, “The arms and ammunition that we possess to fight ISIS will only last us for another five days, after this we will no longer have the capability to continue the fight against ISIS, which possess more sophisticated arms.”
Tribal Chief Shiekh Naim Al-Kaoud continued, “We have sent messages to Prime Minister [of Iraq] Haider Al-Abadi telling him about our situation and asking him either to accelerate our arming or allow us to purchase arms at our own expense and register with the government. Ultimately, we do not want to be militias.”
“The Anbar tribes, particularly those that are actually fighting on the ground, did not go to Washington and will not go to Iran,” he added. “We believe that arming is the responsibility of the [Iraqi] government and state, not foreign parties.”
A member of Iraq’s Parliament agreed that it was the government’s “duty” to arm the tribes and help them fight ISIS. MP Mohamed Nasser Al-Karbouli said, “The issue of arming is the responsibility of the government, but unfortunately it has not done its duty to meet the requirements of the tribes.”
On Tuesday, the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State pledged 1,500 additional ground troops in Iraq. Lt. General James Terry said the troops will act “in an advisory role.”
General Terry said of the additional deployment, “While [the Iraqi security forces] have a long way to go I think they’re becoming more capable every day. … When you start now to balance the different capabilities out across the coalition, I think we’re doing pretty well in terms of boots on the ground.”