Kurdish Peshmerga forces – arguably the most effective ground troops battling the Islamic State terror group in Iraq – have been fighting for the past three months without a paycheck, according to experts and a top official from the region.

“Unless we get direct [financial] support, we will not be able to continue the way we are currently doing so,” Qubad Talabani, Deputy Prime Minister for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), said at a forum held by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) in Washington on Wednesday.

A lack of direct financial support isn’t the only problem, according to Talabani. The Kurdish-controlled area of Northern Iraq also has been forced to absorb a loss of more than $100 million a month in declining oil revenues and diminished support from the central Iraqi government in Baghdad.

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