Current Affairs

France to arm Kurds in Iraq

BBC

France will supply arms to Iraq’s Kurds “in the coming hours”, French President Francois Hollande has announced.

France has received approval from authorities in Baghdad for the decision, French media reports say.

Kurdish forces have been fighting militants from the Islamic State (IS) group. The conflict has displaced thousands of people.

The US has also reportedly begun supplying weapons to the Kurdish forces, known as the Peshmerga.

A statement from Mr Hollande’s office said the move was “in response to the urgent need expressed by the regional authorities in Kurdistan”.

Earlier the US announced it had sent 130 more military advisers to the Kurdish region.

The marines and special operations forces will assess the humanitarian situation and will not be engaged in combat, a US defence official said.

The US has been carrying out air strikes against IS fighters in northern Iraq.

The political leader of Iraq’s Kurds, Massoud Barzani, had on Sunday appealed for international military aid to help defeat the Islamist militants.

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