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Congress weighs arming Iraqi Kurds

Key leaders of both parties are championing legislation to directly support Erbil in its fight against the Islamic State.

Top House lawmakers on Nov. 20 called on President Barack Obama to directly arm Iraqi Kurdish forces in the starkest sign yet that Congress has run out of patience with Baghdad.

Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., and ranking member Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., introduced temporary legislation to arm the peshmerga forces in their fight against the Islamic State (IS). Doing so would mark a reversal of current US policy, which has sought to reinforce the central government in a bid to stop the country from splintering along ethnic and sectarian lines.

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