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German defence minister visits Iraqi Kurdish region

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German defence minister visits Iraqi Kurdish region


Germany’s Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen has visited the Kurdish region in northern Iraq as Berlin sends arms to help Kurdish fighters in the battle against ISIL forces.

Germany plans to arm 10,000 Kurdish fighters with 70 million euros worth of equipment.

This breaks a post-World II taboo on sending weapons to active conflict zones.

“We are involved with relief shipments and the airlift, but we know that this is not sufficient, much more is needed to get these thousands of people, here alone ten thousands in a very confined space and more than a million in the entire region, through the winter,” said von der Leyen

During her visit, the minister met the Archbishop of the Chaldean Catholic Church. The cathedral is currently being used as a haven for displaced Christians who have fled ISIL militants in the region.

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