The president of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, accused Western countries on Wednesday of not providing enough heavy weapons to help his ‘peshmerga’ forces deliver a “decisive blow” against Islamic State militants.

Islamic State (IS) has caused international alarm by capturing large expanses of Iraq and Syria, declaring an Islamic “caliphate” that extends across the border between the two.

Western powers see the Kurds as a vital bulwark against further IS advances. France, Britain, Germany and others have begun arming the Kurds, whose Soviet-era weaponry has proved ineffective against insurgents flush with hardware plundered from the Iraqi army after it abandoned its posts in June. […]