Iraqi Kurdistan’s representative to the United Kingdom made a passionate plea for Britain and its allies – including, potentially, the United States—to supply it with arms. Yesterday, Bayan Sami Abdul Raman, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s High Commissioner, addressed Parliament:
“Kurdistan is at the frontline against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS),” Rahman told the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. “If we are to keep that frontline stable, we need much more assistance.” […]
“Western countries, including the United States, and Eastern countries are very focused on keeping Iraq as one state and they see defense equipment for Kurdistan as undermining Baghdad,” she said.
Rahman, whose post makes her effectively Kurdistan’s ambassador in London, said the Kurds were Britain’s ally in the fight against terrorism and extremism. However, Britain refused to supply defense items such as electronic jamming equipment to the KRG without end-user certificates issued by the Iraqi government. Baghdad refused to issue such certificates if the equipment was destined for Kurdistan.
Unlike the central Iraqi government’s forces, the Kurdish peshmerga has gained and held ground against ISIS, as well as against the Iraqi Army. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Army, in retreating, has consistently let Western equipment fall into enemy hands.As TAI editor Adam Garfinkle has pointed out, the Kurds remain America’s most viable potential ally as Iraq collapses. Given proper consultation with our Turkish allies, answering Kurdistan’s request might not be a bad way to start making the best of a bad situation.