Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters preparing a rocket launcher as they guard a position at the frontline of fighting against ISIS militants near the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, west of the city of Mosul, August 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED
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The U.S.-led coalition has made Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish forces primary allies against ISIS, but over-reliance on the Kurds carries risks, analysts warn.As the world seeks to turn up the heat on ISIS, some of the West's main partners on the ground are the peshmerga forces from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.More than a year on, multimillion-dollar attempts to groom Sunni Arab forces in both Iraq and Syria have yielded limited results at best and failed to sabotage ISIS' self-proclaimed "caliphate".Kurdish forces are among the most skilled, organized and determined to battle ISIS in the region.Before ISIS swept across Iraq last year, it was under Baghdad's authority, not part of the autonomous Kurdish region, but Barzani is now pushing plans to maintain control of the area.
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