Tags: Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | ISIS/Islamic State | Steve Malzberg Show | David Tafuri | ISIS | Iraq

David Tafuri: Weapons Needed in Fight Against ISIS

By    |   Friday, 24 Oct 2014 04:59 PM

Airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS) have been effective, but U.S. allies on the ground desperately need more weapons to wipe out the terror group, says David Tafuri, the former rule of law coordinator for Iraq at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

"The airstrikes are continuing to be very helpful to the Kurdistan region [of Iraq] and also starting to make an impact in Syria, particularly in the hotspot of Kobani," Tafuri said Friday on  the "Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"But still the U.S. and the other coalition countries have not provided much in terms of heavy weapons that are very much needed by the Kurdistan regional government and their armed forces.

"[They] also have not provided much in terms of weapons for the Syrian Kurds who are under siege by ISIS. That's really a critical area where the U.S. and the coalition countries could help more."

Tafuri, a partner at the international law firm Patton Boggs, said U.S. policy has been responsible for curtailing the additional weaponry thus far.

"The US has a policy called the 'One Iraq Policy,' which under that principle [is] this belief that if you do too much to help the Kurds, you set them apart from the rest of Iraq and perhaps hurt the unity of Iraq," Tafuri said.

"But the Kurds are fighting a fight that benefits us and benefits the West and so it's important that we set aside these policy issues for the more important security issues. The Kurds really need that help."

Tafuri said the U.S. should start by make it easier for the Kurds to buy American-made weapons.

"Right now, U.S. regulations don't allow them to unless Baghdad approves and Baghdad never gives them that approval," he said.

"Also, the U.S. could move some of the excess military equipment it has in the region that would be easy to provide … But they haven't done that yet so the Kurds continue to drive to the battlefront in pickup trucks, unarmored.

"They don't have helmets, most of them, they don't have body armor, they don't have the things that a modern army has and, more importantly, they don't have the things that ISIS has, so they're outgunned by ISIS."

Tafuri said the Islamic State "is only going to become stronger" if they are able to hold onto territory they've captured in their diabolical bid to establish a global caliphate controlled by one Islamic leader.

"That's what's happening right now, that's the dynamic. They're gaining resources because they hold territory," Tafuri said.

"They're able to sell oil, so they need to be pushed out of that territory."

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that an agreement had been reached on sending 200 Kurdish peshmerga fighters from Iraq through Turkey to help defend the Syrian border town of Kobani against the Islamic State militants.

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Airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS) have been effective, but U.S. allies on the ground desperately need more weapons to wipe out the terror group, says David Tafuri, the former rule of law coordinator for Iraq at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
David Tafuri, ISIS, Iraq, weapons
3657
2014-59-24
Friday, 24 Oct 2014 04:59 PM
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