Germany breaks political taboo by arming Kurds against Islamists in Iraq

Now Reading:

Germany breaks political taboo by arming Kurds against Islamists in Iraq

Text size Aa Aa

Germany is breaking with its own post World War Two policy and sending weapons to a conflict zone.

It is to arm Kurdish fighters who are battling Islamic extremists in Iraq.

Although the decision has drawn criticism from some in Germany , the government says its justified as the Islamists pose a domestic security threat.

“We are closely coordination these measures with our partners, so there is no separate German path. We are coordinating precisely where the Peshmergas are lacking equipment and who is sending what from the international community,” announced German Defence Minister Ursula Von Der Leyen.

Berlin like other European governments is also concerned about the prospect of war-hardened radicalised Muslims returning home.

Intelligence data points to at least 400 Germans having joined Islamic State fighters in Iraq.

The type of weapons being sent will include armour-piercing weapons such as anti-tank rockets and thousands of assault rifles and grenades.

The equipment, which will be delivered in three stages, has been taken out of German army reserves at a value of 70 million euros.

As well as weapons, Germany plans to send other items such as tents, helmets and radios.

Sending military hardware is unusual for Germany which, since its past aggression in two world wars, often shies away from foreign military engagements and as a rule does not export weapons into live conflict zones.