France has announced that it will supply arms to the Iraqi Kurds, after a request from authorities in Kurdistan was approved by Baghdad.

French President Francois Hollande said that arms would arrive “in the coming hours” to help the Kurdish fighting force, known as the Peshmerga, repel the advances of militants from the Islamic State (formerly ISIS).

In a statement, Hollande said:

“The catastrophic situation faced by the population of Iraqi Kurdistan means the international community must step up its mobilisation”

The US has also reportedly begun supplying weapons to the Peshmerga, and has announced that it has sent 130 more special military advisers from the marines and special operations forces to the region, and continues to launch air strikes against Islamic State military positions.

Germany has said that they will supply the Kurds with armoured vehicles, night vision equipment, and medical supplies, but not weapons.

The UK leads the humanitarian food drops to the thousands of Yazidis stranded on Mount Sinjar, and today announced the success of the third aid drop. A small number of RAF Tornado jets fitted with Litening III reconnaissance pods are also positioned in Cyprus to aid in providing intelligence to assist in the delivery of aid by Hercules aircraft.

Meanwhile, incumbent Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki refuses to stand aside and has called the appointment of Haider al-Abadi to replace him as a “violation” of the Iraqi constitution.

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