The Pentagon has plans to provide military equipment to Sunni tribal fighters, a Defense spokeswoman said on Wednesday, a shift from its current policy to provide the equipment only through the central government in Baghdad.
The new plans come after Sunni tribal fighters faced an embarrassing defeat by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) last week in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province. Fighters complained that they had not received payment or any U.S. military equipment from the central government.
“The Sunni Tribal units affiliated with the Iraqi government are currently trained by the [Iraqi Security Forces] and equipped by the [Government of Iraq] but there are plans to provide [Iraq Train and Equip Fund] equipment to tribal fighters in the future, with the approval and coordination of the GoI,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Navy Cmdr. Elissa Smith in a statement. […]