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Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready

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Tom Bristow - [email protected]
Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready
The weapons are ready to be sent. Photo: Bundeswehr/Pulpanek

Germany’s military said on Thursday it was ready to send its first shipment of arms to Kurds fighting Islamic extremists Isis in northern Iraq.

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The military said in a statement it would fly the weapons and ammunition to forces fighting Isis next week.

The first shipment includes 4,000 G3 rifles, 4,000 P1 pistols, 20 MILAN anti-tank guns, 120 anti-tank rockets and 20 MG3 machine guns.

In the last few days the arsenal has been packed and will fly out of a military base near Leipzig on Wednesday, the Bundeswehr said.

Germany is also providing non-lethal aid, including tents, field kitchens, goggles and trucks. They have been transported to a depot 170 kilometres north-west of Berlin.

“The weapons come from different military depots, Lieutenant Colonel Christian Westendorf said.

Germany is sending 630 tonnes of weapons, ammunition and other equipment to Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Seven German soldiers will arrive in Irbil on Friday to co-ordinate the delivery of the weapons.

People interviewed by The Local on Berlin's Alexanderplatz at the start of September had mixed views about Germany's decision to intervene in the conflict:

At the start of September Chancellor Angela Merkel explained her decision to arm Iraqi Kurds, describing Isis as a group guilty of “unimaginable horror”.

“Here a religion is misused in a terrible way, to justify murder, terror and the rule of violence,” she said.

"We now have a chance to stop the terrorists from creating a new safe haven. We have to take this chance."

SEE ALSO: Germany officially bans Isis

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