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US provided $219m to partners in Iraq, Syria in first quarter of 2022

Iraqi soldiers conduct a military operation against Daesh in Kirkuk, Iraq on 29 December 2019 [Alı Makram Ghareeb/Anadolu Agency]
Iraqi soldiers conduct a military operation against Daesh in Kirkuk, Iraq on 29 December 2019 [Alı Makram Ghareeb/Anadolu Agency]

The United States has provided $219 million to its allies in Iraq and Syria in 2022, so far, in efforts to reportedly maintain the fight against the terror group, Daesh, and prevent its resurgence.

In a statement yesterday by the US-led international coalition to defeat Daesh, Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), it announced that it had given around $219 million to its "partner forces in Syria and Iraq" for the first quarter of 2022.

The funding had been provided through the operation's Counter-ISIS [Daesh] Train and Equip Fund (CTEF), which is designed to bridge the gaps in capability between "Partner Forces" to maintain and ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh.

According to a representative of the CJTF-OIR Directorate of Military Assistance, "Resources provided by CTEF have helped improve the capabilities of our Partner Forces and contribute to regional security in the Middle East".

Over the past eight years, since Daesh's capture of large swathes of territory throughout Syria and Iraq in 2014, the CTEF has provided over $8.9 billion in supplies to its partners in the fight, especially in the form of equipment including armoured military vehicles, forklifts, ambulances, wreckers, fuel and water tankers and different communication assets.

READ: US-trained death squads are the dark legacy of the war on terror

Its partners consisted of militias and armed groups on the ground in the two countries who led the ground offenses on Daesh, primarily the Kurdish militias such as the People's Protection Units (YPG) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as well as the Iraqi security forces.

The support for such groups has proved to be controversial, however, with the US's fellow NATO member, Turkey, objecting to the backing of the Kurdish militias due to their alleged ties with the terrorist group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Assistance to the Iraqi security forces has also been criticised by many, as elements within them which particularly benefited from the funding and support were some of the Iran-backed Shia militias in Iraq – under the umbrella organisation the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) – which turned on the US and its military presence by launching numerous attacks on its forces and bases, following the territorial defeat of Daesh three years ago.

Despite the significant funding and military aid provided to those partner forces, it has seemed not to prevent an increase in attacks conducted by Daesh in the region over the past two years. In the past two months alone, Daesh has successfully launched a series of attacks on Syrian regime forces and sites, Israeli police officers, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in Iraq, and Egyptian forces in the Sinai peninsula.

READ: It's time to demilitarise the US-Iraq relationship

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Asia & AmericasIraqMiddle EastNewsSyriaUS
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