Shi'ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) advance towards the city of Al-Qaim, Iraq November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer
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Iraq's highest-ranking Sunni is in Washington this week pleading for more military aid for his community's militias, hoping the Trump administration will deliver on pledges to counter Iran's growing power across the Middle East.Al-Nujaifi met Monday with a team of State Department and other officials, kicking off a week of efforts to bolster the influence of Iraq's minority Sunni Muslims -- and shore up his power base ahead of national elections next year. His requests for equipment and training face resistance: While Trump has tweeted warnings about Shiite Iran's expanding control over Iraq, Americans officials aren't yet providing military aid directly to Iraq's Sunni fighters.Sunnis represent about 40 percent of Iraq, but consistently complain about being underrepresented in Iraq's Shiite-dominated government.A significant ramp-up in direct U.S. aid to Iraq's Sunni militias -- let alone American troops -- isn't likely, analysts say.Two years of lobbying in Washington didn't win much support for al-Nujaifi's brother.
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