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Middle East

France to arm Iraqi Kurds fighting ISIS militants

© Joel Saget, AFP

Video by Josh VARDEY

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-08-14

France will deliver weapons to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic extremists in Iraq in the “coming hours”, President François Hollande’s office said on Wednesday.

The French presidency said in a statement that the arms shipment had been agreed with authorities in Baghdad and would be delivered “in the coming hours".

"To meet the urgent needs voiced by the Kurdish regional authorities, the head of state (Hollande) decided in liaison with Baghdad to ship arms in the coming hours", said the statement.

A statement issued by the French presidency later in the day said France would also be sending humanitarian assistance to the region over the next few days.

The French government’s decision comes after the US conducted a series of air strikes against jihadists in northern Iraq.

Radical Sunni militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS or ISIL), which now calls itself the Islamic State, launched an attack earlier this month against Kurdish forces in northern Iraq, sparking a mass exodus among the country’s Yazidi, Christian, Turkmen and Shabak minorities.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-08-13

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