Peshmerga forces receive US and France weaponry
Thursday, August 14, 2014
ERBIL, Iraq - All kinds of heavy and high-tech weapons from France and U.S. are being distributed among peshmerga forces, a senior Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) official said on Thursday.
The U.S. and France responded to a request from KRG President Massoud Barzani asking for heavy weaponry from the U.S. and the EU countries in their fight against the militants who have been terrorizing the northern parts of the already volatile country since early June.
"The ministry has received the arms and started distributing them to all troops without distinction," Lt. Gen. Jabbar Yawar, Secretary-General of KRG Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs told Anadolu Agency.
London announced Wednesday that it will be "playing a role" in helping deliver weapons to Kurds and rescuing Ezidi refugees trapped in Iraq while Berlin only spoke of plans to supply non-lethal military equipment to Iraq's Kurdish regional government.
Meanwhile, the U.S. jets pursued the aerial bombardment of IS militants, targeting vehicles and checkpoints belonging to the group in northern Iraq, since President Barack Obama's authorization a week ago for airstrikes in support of U.S. personnel in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, and forces in Iraq.
The U.S. Air Force also continues to conduct several humanitarian airdrops supplying water and food for the Ezidi people who have been trapped atop Mount Sinjar for the past week.
Mount Sinjar, situated in north-west Iraq near the border with Syria, has been home to thousands of Ezidis - a Kurdish ethno-religious community in northern Iraq- who have fled to safety in fear of being massacred by IS militants who consider them "devil-worshippers."
Over a million civilians have been displaced so far amid the ongoing clashes in the north and west of the country.
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