News / Middle East

US: 7 European States to Arm Kurds in Iraq

Kurdish Peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in a village on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh near the border province of Dohuk, Iraq, Aug. 9, 2014.
Kurdish Peshmerga troops participate in an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in a village on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh near the border province of Dohuk, Iraq, Aug. 9, 2014.
VOA News

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says seven European governments have agreed to join the United States in supplying weaponry to Kurdish forces battling Islamic State extremists in northern Iraq.

A Pentagon statement Tuesday said Britain, Canada, Albania and Croatia will join Denmark, Italy and France in providing "urgently needed" arms and equipment to the Kurds.

Islamic State jihadists overran large areas of northern and western Iraq in June. Earlier this month, they pushed Kurdish forces back toward their regional capital, Irbil.

Also Tuesday, Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Barzani, speaking in Irbil alongside the Iranian diplomat, said Iran is the first country to provide military aid to Kurdish fighters since the Islamic State offensive was launched.

Separately, high-level diplomats from Iran and Saudi Arabia — two regional powers separated by steep sectarian divides — met for talks that officials say included the rising threat posed by the Islamic State militancy. Iran's deputy foreign minister described the talks as "positive and constructive."

The visit to Jeddah by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian was the first high-level meeting between the two countries since Iran elected Hassan Rouhani president last year. Rouhani has pledged to thaw Iran's diplomatic ties with its Arab neighbors.

Earlier Tuesday in Baghdad, a car bomb explosion in a mainly Shi'ite neighborhood killed at least 10 people and wounded 31 others. The blast hit the New Baghdad area during the morning rush hour.

On Monday, a series of blasts in Iraq killed at least 20 people, including 11 at a Shi'ite mosque in the same neighborhood as Tuesday's bombing.

Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Patrick from: Ca
August 27, 2014 3:26 AM
Way to go France, remembering your allies, where's Germany? Playing in the park?

by: Not Again from: Canada
August 26, 2014 11:28 PM
Good to see that the Kurdish reason will be stabilized; let us hope that the weapons supplied, and other help, do the job. The Kurds will need training, to ensure they can use the weapons efficiently, and will require assistance wrt intelligence, operational planning, and logistic support. In due course,the Kurdish people should be able to do most of the work themselves.
I just hope that no social engineering initiatives are compulsolry with the acceptance of the weapons and other help. People and nations must be allowed to develop and progress at a pace that is consistent with their traditions, and is not intendeed to destroy their core values; overtime, the Kurdish people will develop into a democracy at par with other Western based democracies; they are already quite advanced in their political and social engagements, and are a beacon for tolerance, that others in the region should emulate.

by: Uncle Ben
August 26, 2014 10:23 PM
When are they going to arm Ukrainians alike? Don't be afraid of Russia.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America