Planning for the future battle of Mosul got a boost Thursday when Defense Secretary Ash Carter agreed to give the Kurdish peshmerga two brigade-size equipment sets to help them lead that fight.

The agreement came while Carter was visiting northern Iraq and met with Kurdish leaders. It was the latest stop on the secretary’s trip across the Middle East talking to top U.S. generals and allied leaders about ways to increase military pressure on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

“What I discussed with [Kurdish] President [Masoud] Barzani is the future of the campaign, particularly the role his forces can play in the encirclement and recapture of Mosul,” Carter told reporters in Iraq on Thursday. […]