One of the tragedies of the region is the minority ethnic groups of Christians, Kurds and Zadis etc., feeling the brunt of the sword of Islam. Kurds of course are Muslims, but of all the Muslim groups there, they’re (at least portions of their fractured group) the least unfriendly to the West.
NOTE: Of the fighting forces in these Arab states, the Kurds stand the best chance of resisting the Islamic State jihadis advances.
Iraq offers Kurds air support in north
Iraq’s air force will provide support for Kurdish forces battling Islamist militants in the north of the country. Kurds suffered heavy weekend losses to fighters from the Islamic State organization, losing two towns.
Baghdad agreed on Monday to provide support for Kurdish fighters seeking to stop the latest advance from the Islamic State (IS) group, formerly known as ISIS.
“The commander in chief of the armed forces has issued orders to the leadership of the air force and the army’s aviation units to provide air support to [Kurdish] peshmerga forces,” Iraqi military spokesman Lt. Gen. Qassim Atta said in a statement.
The aerial support comes despite months of difficult relations between the central Iraqi government in Baghdad and the partially autonomous Kurdish authority in the north. The Kurdish political bloc in Iraq pulled out of the country’s national government in July in protest, after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Kurds were allowing IS fighters to stay in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish region.
Kurdish troops lost control of the towns of Sinjar and Zumar over the weekend, retreating as Islamic State fighters advanced and claimed a fifth oil field to help fund their operations.