Germany to arm Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State in Iraq
The German government announced on Sunday evening it would send anti-tank missiles and machine guns to Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq, Deutsche Welle reported.
The Defense Ministry said the arms, as well as protective gear and communications equipment, would be enough to supply 4,000 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.
The delivery will take place over three shipments to start at the end of September. It will include 8,000 German-made G36 assault rifles and ammunition, 30 MILAN anti-tank systems, and five heavily armored Dingo infantry vehicles.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (above right) made the announcement in Berlin alongside Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (above left), who said Germany must help in the fight against the Islamic State (IS).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq.
The militants have made significant territorial gains in recent months as part of a quest to establish a "caliphate" in northern Iraq and Syria.