Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take position on the front line in Makhmur, about 280 kilometres (175 miles) north of the capital Baghdad, during clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants on August 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO/SAFIN HAMED
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The U.S. government is directly supplying weapons to Peshmerga fighters from Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region to help them fight Sunni militants, in a deepening of America's military involvement in Iraq, U.S. government sources said on Monday.The sources said the weapons were supplied by the Central Intelligence Agency but that the Department of Defense may soon start arming the Kurdish fighters, who regained control of two strategic towns in northern Iraq on Sunday with help from U.S. airstrikes.The United States has long insisted that all sales of U.S. weapons must go through Iraq's central government, despite Kurdish complaints that Baghdad had deprived them of promised military equipment and financial support.A senior U.S. defense official acknowledged that the U.S. was providing arms and ammunition needed by the Kurds but said it was not coming from the Department of Defense.
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