Iraqi VP asks for arms, training for Sunnis in his country

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Iraq's highest-ranking Sunni is in Washington this week pleading for more military aid for his community's militias, hoping the Trump administration will deliver on pledges to counter Iran's influence.

Osama al-Nujaifi is one of Iraq's three vice presidents. His brother heads a major Iraqi defense faction. Both have been represented in Washington by the same lobbyist employed last year by President Donald Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Trump fired Flynn in February.

Al-Nujaifi met Monday with U.S. officials in an effort to bolster the influence of Iraq's minority Sunni Muslims -- and shore up his power base.

His requests for equipment and training face resistance. While Trump has tweeted warnings about Shiite Iran's influence, Americans officials aren't yet providing direct military aid to Iraq's Sunni fighters.

AP-WF-11-07-17 0912GMT



 
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