Berlin provides weapon to Kurds fighting jihadism in Iraq

Friday, September 5th, 2014 6:01:00 by

Germany takes years to be used as an economic giant enclosed in the body of a medium political actor. But something is moving to make mark on the international stage matches its economic weight. It is no longer just about their leaders in solemn speeches indicate the need to become more involved in the challenges facing the international community. The decision of the government of Angela Merkel endorsed Monday by the Parliament to arm Iraqi Kurds to fight the jihadists of the Islamic State (EI) is a real step in that will manifest on paper.

“We have to choose. Or do not take any chances, do not deliver weapons and accept that terror spreading. Or support to those who desperately, but also brave, struggling with limited resources against barbarism Terror EI “said Chancellor Merkel during a special meeting at the Bundestag, the lower house of Parliament. It is true that the Government was not required to convene this meeting, but the overwhelming majority that counts the grand coalition of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats left little room for Merkel and yours will take an unpleasant surprise.

The decision to help the Kurds in northern Iraq with anti-tank missiles, grenade launchers, assault rifles, pistols and hand grenades with which to arm 4,000 peshmerga was adopted on Sunday afternoon in a meeting chaired by Merkel attended Minister of Defense, Democrat Ursula von der Leyen, and responsible Affairs, the Social Democrat Frank- Walter Steinmeier. He himself has pointed out the risks involved in the operation, as the weapons end up in the wrong hands or used the Kurds to form their own state, not to fend off attacks from Sunni jihadists. These risks are the same as Monday threw him face the opposition of the Left and the Greens. “Iraq needs fewer weapons, not more,” attacked the leftist leader Gregor Gysi. But Steinmeier replicates that support for the Kurds is necessary because the advance of EI involves not only ” a human tragedy of untold dimensions, but also a threat to the existence of Iraq.”

Sending arms worth 70 million euros, which will begin arriving in Iraq in two weeks, is a risk to the German government not only from a military point of view, but also domestic policy. Various surveys have shown these days that between 60 % and 80 % of Germans oppose sending arms to the Kurds. As an argument to overcome this resistance, Merkel warned Monday that the destabilizing an entire region can ultimately affect Europe and Germany. The Executive, in case, rules out any kind of armed intervention by German forces, noting that the shipment of material has approval from the authorities in Baghdad.

The shift announced by the German Government puts Berlin in the bunch of European countries that have offered military assistance to stop this new branch of jihadism operating mainly in Iraq and Syria. This is not the first time that modern Germany sends weapons to a conflict zone -what did in 1991 to support when Kuwait was invaded by Saddam Hussein ‘s Iraq or on occasion to Israel, but it is a step forward in assuming a role of international leadership for a country that was heavily criticized in 2011 when aligned with countries like Russia and China, to abstain from the UN resolution to intervene in Libya. Angela Merkel also led the Government made ??that decision, but then it was with the support of the liberal FDP and is now allied with the social democratic SPD. The EU leaders said in the summit last weekend to support the fight against EI and supported those countries that have decided unilaterally, as now Germany, sending military equipment.

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