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Congress threatens to withhold arms from Baghdad

Allegations that Shiite-majority militias allied with Iraq’s central government have used US military equipment against Kurds in the disputed Kirkuk province has sparked outrage among US lawmakers.
Iraqi forces, supported by the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitaries, advance near the village of Husseinyah, south of Mosul on February 20, 2017, during the offensive to retake the western side of Mosul. / AFP / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE        (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Congress is threatening to stop sending weapons to Baghdad after reports today that Iraqi forces and Iran-backed Shiite militias are shooting at US-friendly Kurdish forces in northern Iraq.

Iraqi federal troops moved overnight to take control of Kirkuk and its surrounding oil fields following last month’s disputed independence referendum. Kurdish peshmerga fighters have accused the Shiite-dominated Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) of using US-supplied Abrams tanks and Humvees in the offensive, sparking outrage among US lawmakers who have long worried about US equipment ending up in Iranian-friendly hands.

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