MidEast

Hagel: 7 Western Nations to Help Arm the Kurds

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel released a statement yesterday announcing that seven Western nations would be sending arms to the Kurds to help them fight off the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Albania, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, France and the United Kingdom “have committed to helping provide Kurdish forces urgently needed arms and equipment,“ Hagel said in a written statement as his spokesman, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby was describing the threat from ISIL as “only going to grow.”
Hagel said the resupply operations have already begun and will accelerate in the coming days with more nations expected to contribute.
“This is a serious threat from a serious group of terrorists,” Pentagon Press Secretary Kirby told reporters at a news conference. “And we need to stay mindful of doing what we need to do to protect American citizens at home and abroad.”

Agence France-Presse added:

Albania and Britain have already started moving supplies to the Kurds, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters. …

Kirby also said the United States had helped the Iraqi government transport some military supplies by air to the Kurdish forces in the north.

The supplies to be delivered include ammunition for small arms, after Kurdish forces appealed for more weapons and equipment to take on the IS jihadists.

Earlier this summer, the Kurds in northern Iraq created physical barriers around their autonomous area to deter attacks from ISIS more effectively. As the summer progressed, the growing threat of ISIS prompted calls in Washington for more American support for the Kurds. American air support helped the Kurds retake the Mosul dam which had been captured by ISIS.

[Photo: Boris Niehous / WikiCommmons ]