Berlin, Aug 14 IANS | 3 months ago

Germany will send its first batch of relief supplies to Iraq Friday.

The Bundeswehr, Germany's armed forces, will bring the German aid, mainly food and medical supplies, on four Transall transport planes to the crisis-hit regions in northern Iraq, Xinhua reported citing the Spiegel Online newspaper.

The planes were expected to take off from a military airfield in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein and land in Arbil, capital of Iraq's Kurdish region.

The German government has announced a total of 24.4 million euros ($32.7 million) in emergency relief measures for Iraqis threatened by the Islamic State(IS) extremists.

Aside from humanitarian assistance, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday that Germany could possibly send non-lethal equipment to help Iraq push back against the advance of IS insurgents.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday voiced her opinion on the issue of arms shipments to Iraq.

"There is political and legal leeway for the German government on the issue of arms exports, and we will make full use of it if needed," she was quoted as saying by Germany's Hannoversche Allgemeine newspaper.

The chancellor also noted that Germany had not made any decisions on weapons deliveries and would coordinate closely with its partners on this issue.

(Posted on 15-08-2014)

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