WARDAK, IRAQ— Backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, Iraqi Kurdish fighters known as Peshmerga have been at the front lines of the war against Islamic State extremists.
Peshmerga commanders say they their weapons are just not good enough.
"Out of four heavy machine guns on the front line, usually just one of them is working, when one is broken, we fix it, then another one breaks down and we have to fix that, over and over. Even our light weapons are old," said Peshmerga General Saeed Hazhar.
The fighters say Baghdad is not sending them what they need.
The U.S. Defense Department denies there's a problem.
"We continue to work through the government of Iraq and Prime Minister [Haider al-] Abadi, and there's been no problem in getting materiel that has been approved and equipment to the Peshmerga forces through that format. And we think that is the appropriate way to continue," said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook.
The United States, France, and Germany have provided the Peshmerga with weapons, ammunition and money for salaries.
But the Peshmerga want more.
"They need to provide us with more modern equipment, night vision goggles, heavy machine guns, armored cars," Hazhar said.
But there are concerns that in heavily arming the Peshmerga, this could become the front line of their fight for independence from Baghdad too.