France announces it will send weapons to Iraq to arm Kurdish forces ‘in coming hours’

National Post

PARIS — Calling the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan “catastrophic,” France said Wednesday it would start supplying arms to the Kurdish forces fighting Sunni extremists from the Islamic State group.

The sudden announcement that arms would begin to flow within hours underlined France’s alarm at the urgency of the situation in Iraq, where the Islamic State fighters are threatening the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

The shipment of French arms, which the government refused to describe, follows the United States’ increased role in fighting back the Islamic State extremists.

Senior American officials say U.S. intelligence agencies are directly arming the Kurds, a shift in Washington’s policy of only working through the Baghdad government. On Tuesday, 130 U.S. troops arrived in the Kurdish capital of Irbil on what the Pentagon described as a temporary mission to co-ordinate plans to help trapped Yazidi civilians on Sinjar Mountain.

France says its arms shipment was co-ordinated with the Iraqi government.

French authorities have pushed other European Union members to do more to aid Christian and other minorities being targeted by the Islamic State group extremists. A high-level EU diplomatic meeting late Tuesday ended with a statement that it would consider the Kurdish request for urgent military support “in close co-ordination with Iraqi authorities.”

Earlier Wednesday, France had pledged to deliver a new 20-ton shipment of humanitarian aid including medicine, tents and water treatment equipment to Irbil later in the day.

The turmoil stems from the rapid advance of the Islamic State group and allied Sunni militants across northern and western Iraq in June. The insurgency seized Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, and routed Iraq’s beleaguered armed forces. Thousands of people have been killed and more than 1.5 million have been displaced by the violence.

August 13, 2014 | 3 Comments »

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  1. Max Said:

    Americans don’t want to get involved

    Please Max, do me the favor of separating Americans desires for involment from the present Obama administration. As usual you’re talking throw your hat when discussing the USA.

  2. Americans don’t want to get involved. Obama admires himself in white house mirrors and doesn’t look outside. Newscasters talk about “mission creep”.
    ..America didn’t step up to the plate and in the vacuum Islam is ascendant.
    The next two decades belong to Islam.
    Armageddon is upon the world sooner than anyone thinks.

  3. Turkey declines to provide U.S. ‘any kind of support’ against ISIL
    U.S. report ties pro-Erdogan media to anti-Semitic trend in Turkey

    As we can see, muslim allies in the ME regularly deny the US access when needed.

    The rise of the Turkish Hitler, like adolph he appeared first as a ridiculous clownish buffoon. Like adolph erdogan should be liquidated before he is more dangerous. The Gullens and deposed military could probably use some help in that regard.