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Iraqi Kurdish official says peshmerga fighters have started receiving training from allies

  • FILE - In this June 20, 2014, file photo, Kurdish peshmerga fighters takes their positions behind sand barriers at the village of Taza Khormato in the northern oil rich province of Kirkuk, Iraq. The insurgents came at midday, walking across a canal, advancing under cover of mortar fire toward the cluster of three Iraqi villages. Iraqi Kurdish forces have begun receiving training from western allies including the United States as they seek to beef up their capabilities against the Islamic State militant group, a top Kurdish security official said Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

    FILE - In this June 20, 2014, file photo, Kurdish peshmerga fighters takes their positions behind sand barriers at the village of Taza Khormato in the northern oil rich province of Kirkuk, Iraq. The insurgents came at midday, walking across a canal, advancing under cover of mortar fire toward the cluster of three Iraqi villages. Iraqi Kurdish forces have begun receiving training from western allies including the United States as they seek to beef up their capabilities against the Islamic State militant group, a top Kurdish security official said Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.(AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 file photo, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters detain a man suspected as a militant for the Islamic State group, as airstrikes target Islamic State militants near the Khazer checkpoint outside of the city of Irbil in northern Iraq. Iraqi Kurdish forces have begun receiving training from western allies including the United States as they seek to beef up their capabilities against the Islamic State militant group, a top Kurdish security official said Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.(AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)

    FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 file photo, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters detain a man suspected as a militant for the Islamic State group, as airstrikes target Islamic State militants near the Khazer checkpoint outside of the city of Irbil in northern Iraq. Iraqi Kurdish forces have begun receiving training from western allies including the United States as they seek to beef up their capabilities against the Islamic State militant group, a top Kurdish security official said Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.(AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)  (The Associated Press)

A top Iraqi Kurdish security official says his forces have begun receiving training from western allies including the United States as they seek to beef up their capabilities against the Islamic State militant group.

Helgurd Hikmet, general director of the ministry overseeing Kurdish military forces known as peshmerga, tells The Associated Press that France, Italy and Germany are also among countries providing training to help Kurdish forces use new machine guns, mortars, rockets and demining robots they have received.

The U.S. launched airstrikes and humanitarian missions in August to aid Iraqi and Kurdish security forces in northern Iraq. The French last week joined in the aerial campaign. A number of European countries have also committed to arming the Kurds and providing humanitarian support for more than a million displaced people.