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Kurdish President: More Needed to Defeat Islamic State

FILE - Kurdish President Massoud Barzani talks to VOA's Persian service in an exclusive interview.

Iraq's Kurdish authorities say Kurdish peshmerga forces do not have the weapons needed to defeat Islamic State militants but says he does not believe Iran should have a role in efforts to fight them.

In an interview with VOA's Persian Service, Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, said peshmerga forces have not received the weapons and logistical support needed to successfully fight IS in northern Iraq.

Barzani said although he was grateful for support provided by Western airstrikes, as well as weapons from France and Germany, they are not enough.

Coalition airstrikes have helped Kurdish forces seize several villages from Islamic State militants in the north - part of a broader offensive to drive the militants away from the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

Barzani also said he did not believe that Iran should have a role in helping liberate the IS-controlled city of Mosul.

Residents and local officials said Islamic State fighters captured more territory outside the capital of Iraq's Anbar province Wednesday.

The United States says Iraqi troops have retaken about a quarter of the territory seized by Islamic State fighters who had swept through large areas of Iraq last June.

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