It’s been reported a team of around 20 including personnel from the US military has landed on Mount Sinjar to assess how to evacuate civilians.
Thousands fled there including members of the Yazadi religious minority to escape an advance by Sunni fighters. Boots on the ground but combat action has been ruled out.
“What is ruled out is reintroducing the US forces in the combat on the ground in Iraq, but there is a variety of ways in which we can support the safe removal of those people from the mountain,” Ben Rhodes White House Deputy National Security Adviser told reporters.
Weapons are on their way to support the fight against terrorism from France. A statement from President Francois Hollande said the action was taken because of “the dire situation which faces the population in the Iraqi region of Kurdistan.”
“The French president decided today to give help to the forces that are fighting terrorism in Iraq especially the Peshmergas and we are going to send to Kurdistan in the coming hours weaponry and ammunitions to support the forces that are fighting against terrorism,” explained Alain Guepratte French Consul General in Kurdistan.
Paris has not specified the quantity or nature of the arms. Germany could follow France’s action and soften its stance on not exporting weapons to conflict zones.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told one media outlet that the country could not leave Kurdistan on its own and watch people being slaughtered there. “I cannot rule out that we will have to deliver weapons,” he said.