France to provide arms to Iraqi Kurds

On Wednesday, French President François Hollande announced that France will "deliver arms in the coming hours" to Kurdish Peshmerga forces battling advances by Islamic State militants in Iraq.
By JC Finley  |  Aug. 13, 2014 at 1:23 PM
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PARIS, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- France announced Wednesday it will provide weapons to Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government to help arm the Kurdish Peshmerga forces against advances by Islamic State militants.

French President François Hollande's office issued an official statement that "In order to respond to the urgent needs expressed by the Kurdistan regional authorities, the president has decided, in agreement with Baghdad, to deliver arms in the coming hours."

The French government did not specify the type or quantity of weapons that will be delivered.

Hollande also expressed support for the newly designated prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, and echoed U.S. and NATO calls for Abadi to quickly establish a unity government that can stop the advances by the Islamic State.

France's decision to supply the Peshmerga with weapons followed a European Union meeting held Tuesday that determined member states could, with Baghdad's approval, individually offer weapons to the Peshmerga.

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