US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Should Aspire to Kurdish Forces

Washington - US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter in the House Armed Service Committee said last Wednesday, that the Peshmerga “show the will to fight and the capability to fight”.

“The Kurdish forces are what we aspire to with respect to the Iraqi security forces in general,” he added.

“Earlier to their seizing in just past days one of the critical lifelines of supply to the ISIL,” he said, referring to Syrian Kurds taking Tel Abyad last week, a vital IS supply line to Raqqah. “They are effective and protecting their own region, but also in the larger campaign to defeat ISIS. We are supporting them from the air, and we are supporting them with equipment to get to your point,” he said. Carter said that the US is committed to supporting the Peshmerga forces, and to ensure deliveries through Baghdad are efficient. “And then we turned to Baghdad and said you can’t slow this down. In the earlier days they were slowing it down, and now it’s getting directly to the Kurds, and not only our stuff, but stuff coming from Europe and elsewhere, because these guys really do fight,” he added. Moreover, he said that the systems they valued the most are coming from the Europeans, and not Americans, in a indirect reference to the German weapons that have been supplied to the Kurds. “That’s good. It shows everybody is in the fight,” he added.