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August 10, 2014 AT 4:49 AM
For years, Kurdish officials have beseeched the Obama administration to let them buy U.S. weapons. For just as long, the administration has rebuffed America's closest allies in Iraq. U.S. officials insisted they could only sell arms to the government in Baghdad, even after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki broke a written promise to deliver some of them to the Kurds. Now, the administration is confronting the consequences of that policy. The Islamic State group, which some American officials have branded "a terrorist army," overpowered lightly armed Kurdish units, threatening the Kurdish region and the American personnel stationed there.