Iraqi Kurdish forces have begun receiving training from western allies including the United States as they seek to beef up their capabilities against the Islamic State militant group, a top Kurdish security official said Monday.

Helgurd Hikmet, general director of the ministry overseeing Kurdish military forces known as peshmerga, said that France, Italy and Germany are also among countries providing training to help Kurdish forces use new machine guns, mortars, rockets and demining robots they have received.

“We asked all our allies, when they provided us with new weapons, that these weapons need training,” Hikmet told The Associated Press. “So now all the allies that provided us with those weapons are providing us with training.” […]