Germany is prepared to arm Kurdish troops fighting Islamist insurgents and it will begin delivering non-lethal equipment to Iraq in coming days, the defense minister said. "We are in principle ready to provide weapons and munitions," Ursula von der Leyen told reporters on Wednesday, adding that the government will gather facts over the next week before "deciding on the next steps.
German law prohibits the export of weapons to conflict zones, although it permits certain exceptions such as if Germany's own foreign or security interests are at risk. Ms. von der Leyen and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier both emphasised the brutality of the radical Sunni group Islamic State in their joint statement to reporters, saying the group poses a threat to Germany and Europe and "must be stopped.
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