Aug. 16, 2014 by Darius
ISIS has a knack for bringing people together. Unfortunately for ISIS, this usually entails people coming together to oppose ISIS. This week, as ISIS fighters moved into Kurdish regions of Iraq, a truly impressive array of foreign powers has lined up to supply weapons and fighters to Kurdish fighters, known as Peshmerga.
Several days ago, the United States and some European nations, including France and the UK, announced that they would supply weapons to the Peshmerga. Somewhat more surprisingly, European countries that generally have a reputation for more pacifistic foreign policy, like Germany, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic, have said they may also follow suit with arms deliveries.
From the other side of Iraq, Iran is playing a large role in equipping and even overseeing Peshmerga forces on the ground. Earlier this week, when Kurdish forces retook two small towns from ISIS, Iranian advisors had a command center nearby. As a sign of the times, these Iran-backed Kurdish forces were assisted in their campaign by US airstrikes against ISIS positions.
The alliance between the US, Europe, and Iran is a rather remarkable marriage of convenience, especially given that these countries couldn’t agree about Syria or, previously, Iraq or the Kurds.
In a short time, ISIS has made a very credible case that it poses a larger existential threat to all of these countries and to the stability of the region than ever did al Qaeda, which despite its aspirations never managed to field an army or hold territory. All of which makes aiding the Kurds’ Peshmerga that much more attractive.