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Opinion
The Editors

Arm the Kurds

Islamic State jihadists are using captured U.S. weapons to defeat the Kurds, allies whom the U.S. is refusing to arm out of deference to the central Iraqi government in Baghdad. It is time to change that.
Soldiers with the Kurdish Peshmerga wait at an outpost on the edges of the contested city of Kirkuk, Iraq.
Soldiers with the Kurdish Peshmerga wait at an outpost on the edges of the contested city of Kirkuk, Iraq.

Thanks to the Iraqi military's chaotic flight from Mosul in June, jihadists from the Islamic State are now armed with abandoned U.S. weapons and armored vehicles. Iraq's Kurds -- arguably the most reliable U.S. allies in the Middle East after Israel and Turkey -- are not.

The implications of this bizarre mismatch between U.S. arms and interests has become clear in recent days as Islamic State militants have driven Kurdish Peshmerga fighters from several towns near Mosul in northern Iraq. The Sunni extremists acquired two oil fields, and they are fighting to seize a dam that supplies water and electricity to much of Iraq. Tens of thousands of residents of the Yazidi religious minority have fled for their lives.