The U.S. has reportedly blocked any attempts by Middle East allies to fly weapons to the Kurds fighting the Islamic State in Iraq.
The Telegraph reports that U.S. allies say President Obama and other Western leaders, including Britain’s David Cameron, aren’t showing leadership over the escalating ISIS crisis in Iraq, Syria and throughout the Middle East.
These allies are now willing to “go it alone” in giving heavy weaponry to the Kurds, even if it means defying Iraq and the U.S. who want all weapons to be funneled through Baghdad, according to the newspaper.
High level officials from Gulf and other states have told The Telegraph that plans to persuade Obama to arm the Kurds directly have failed. The Senate voted down an amendment for the U.S. to bypass Baghdad and send weapons to the Kurdish fighters.
The officials told the paper they are looking for ways to bypass U.S. permission to give the Kurdish fighters weapons.
“If the Americans and the West are not prepared to do anything serious about defeating ISIL, then we will have to find new ways of dealing with the threat,” a senior Arab government official told The Telegraph. “With ISIL making ground all the time we simply cannot afford to wait for Washington to wake up to the enormity of the threat we face.”
The Peshmerga have gotten support from the Kurds to drive the Islamic State back from Erbil. However, they are doing so with makeshift weapons. The Telegraph says weapons have been bought by a number of countries throughout Europe to aid the Kurds, but U.S. commanders are blocking the arms transfers.
The Kurds also have said that the main part of their plight is that Iraqi forces have abandoned so many weapons in the face of ISIS’ attacks, they are now fighting American-made weaponry with Soviet-style equipment.
The paper reports that at least one Arab nation is considering arming the Peshmerga without U.S. permission.
Other Gulf nations have been visibly irritated by the lack of direction from the U.S. in the fight, according to the paper. Other members of the coalition have identified clear militant targets but then have been blocked by U.S. vetoes from engaging them.
One Gulf leader went as far as saying, “there is simply no strategic approach.”
As the U.S. and Britain mull whether to take the next step in the war against ISIS, the terror group continues to commits acts of savagery. A new report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that more than 3,000 people have been killed at the hands of ISIS since its emergence last summer.
ISIS has also ramped up his violence after calls for more attacks during Ramadan. On June 30, 11 workers from al-Miadin endured live crucifixion and were forced to wear signs saying "70 lashes and to be crucified for 1 day for breaking the fast in Ramadan."
The Islamic State was also responsible for an attack on Egyptian army checkpoints that left at least 64 soldiers said, according to country officials.
--The Associated Press contributed to this report.