German soldiers head to Iraqi Kurdistan
AFP · 14 Sep 2014, 09:45
Published: 14 Sep 2014 09:45 GMT+02:00
- Germany officially bans terror group Isis (12 Sep 14)
- Germany rules out Syria air strikes (11 Sep 14)
- Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs (02 Sep 14)
Following a decision last month by the German government to provide Kurdish peshmerga forces with weapons, Berlin's defence ministry said it had sent six soldiers to its consulate in Irbil, northern Iraq, to "coordinate" joint training exercises.
Additional teams will be "temporarily" deployed to Iraqi Kurdistan, with up to 30 Kurdish soldiers travelling to Germany in exchange, it said.
The first batch of German weapons, which includes "anti-tank rockets and machine guns," will arrive in northern Iraq on September 24th and will be followed "quickly" by the military trainers, according to a defence ministry spokesman.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier this month that an estimated 400 German nationals had travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight on the side of the jihadists, who were threatening the stability of the entire region.
"We must fear these fighters could return one day" and mount attacks in European cities, she told parliament on September 1st.
"The enormous suffering of many people cries to the heavens and our own security interests are threatened," she said.
SEE ALSO: German arms head for Iraq