Germany has started arming and training Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers (photo) fighting against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in northern Iraq, German Defense Ministry announced late Wednesday.
The Kurdish forces will be flown to an Army base in Bavaria, in Germany, to get special training in the use of sophisticated weaponry, including Milan anti-tank missiles, which can destroy an armored vehicle at a range of 1.2 miles.
In a press statement on Thursday German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed his concerns over the spread of the ISIS fighters to other countries in the region, especially Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
“ISIS's ideology aims at crossing the Iraqi and Syrian boundaries to include neighboring countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama on Tuesday ordered about 350 more U.S. troops to Baghdad to protect American diplomatic facilities and staff in the Iraqi capital, the White House said.
The announcement came hours after ISIS released another video showing a masked militant with a British accent cutting the throat of a U.S. captive.
The Sunni extremist group has declared an Islamic “Caliphate” in regions under its control in Iraq and Syria, after it swept through much of the Sunni Arab heartland north of Baghdad and then stormed minority Christian and Yazidi areas.
The U.S. has been carrying out air strikes on ISIS positions in Iraq and already has hundreds of personnel shoring up diplomatic security in Iraq.
Source: AFP; Agencies