MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti) - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced France’s potential plans to supply arms to Iraq’s Kurds to use against Islamic State (IS) jihadists currently terrorizing northern Iraq, channel France 2 reported.
"One way or another, they must receive, in a sure way, equipment that will allow them to defend themselves and to counterattack," Fabius told television channel France 2 from Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.
Fabius stressed that France will not take action until it has discussed plans with its EU partners. France’s military will not intervene without UN Security Council authorization and a threat to French nationals, Fabius added, also highlighting the worsening situation around Sinjar affecting Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking minority following a faith rooted in Zoroastrianism, The Local reported.
A statement from the Elysee Palace said that French President Francois Hollande “reaffirmed the will of France to stand by the side of civilian victims of continued attacks.”
Hollande also "underlined his determination to mobilize the international community and said he had asked the European Union to take necessary measures with great urgency to respond to immediate humanitarian needs."
Fabius left France on August 10 to meet with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari in Baghdad before flying to Arbil, where US forces have launched air strikes against Islamic extremists.
In Arbil, Fabius is to hold talks with Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani and oversee the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians who have fled the advance of the Islamist fighters, The Local reported.
Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani asked the international community to provide the Kurds with weapons to aid their fight against IS militants on August 10.
IS is a Sunni organization that has been fighting in Iraq since June. The group has taken over large parts of the country, with the target of seizing Baghdad. The group announced in late June the establishment of a caliphate in the northern Iraq territories it has so far captured.