GOP wants Pentagon to boost support for Kurds

GOP wants Pentagon to boost support for Kurds
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A pair of Republican senators want the Pentagon to bolster its support for Kurdish peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq, suggesting they're struggling to defend their territory against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 
 
"We ask the Department to strengthen its support to the [Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)] based on the troubling operational situation in large portions of Iraq, the dedication of the Kurdish Peshmerga in their fight against ISIL, and KRG support provided to the over 1.6 million displaced persons within their territory," Republican Sens. Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Mike Rounds (S.D.) wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, using an alternate acronym for the extremist group.  
 
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The two senators recently traveled to Iraq, which they said "did not alleviate our long-standing concerns about inadequate U.S. support" to the KRG and peshmerga fighters. 
 
They added that they were "again informed the military support promised to them from Baghdad is far from being provided, and the level of support ... is not enough to effectively defend their territory against ISIL."
 
The senators, in their Monday letter to Carter, asked what additional measures the U.S. government could be taking to strengthen their support of Kurdish fighters in Iraq. 
 
Ernst tried to get an amendment that would have allowed the Obama administration to send direct aid to Kurdish Peshmerga forces included in the National Defense Authorization Act, but her proposal was blocked
 
Opponents of Ernst's amendment, including Carter, have argued that it would undermine Iraq's central government in Baghdad, while supporters argue that sending supplies through Baghdad negatively affects the battle against ISIS.