Germany to send airlift, US to continue airstrikes

2014-08-15 07:55:49 | Al Muslim News
Germany to send airlift, US to continue airstrikes


Germany has announced it would airlift goods to people stranded in the Sinjar mountains, while US President Barack Obama has pledged to continue airstrikes against IS militants in Iraq. Germany plans to send aid to northern Iraq on Friday, according to national media reports. Four German Transall military aircraft are set to take off for Erbil, carrying 36 tons of food and supplies to UN organizations for further distribution, the dpa news agency reported on Thursday. On Tuesday, amid talks to increase European aid to Iraq, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced Berlin would support Iraq’s army in its efforts to fight the Islamic State (IS) terror group by delivering non-lethal military aid such as armored vehicles, helmets, night-vision equipment, booby-trap detectors and medical supplies. Discussion is ongoing whether Germany – which has a policy of not delivering weapons to war zones – should supply Kurdish fighters, Peshmerga, with arms to fight for the survival of the Yazidi minority. UN declares ‘highest level of emergency’ The UN has declared the highest level of emergency for the humanitarian crisis in Iraq. According to the Pentagon, however, far fewer Yazidis are stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq than first thought. The “Level 3 Emergency” has resulted in variousWestern governments vowing to increase the amount of goods, funds and assets being supplied to the thousands of displaced members of Iraq’s minority Christian and Yazidi communities. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been driven out of their homes as the IS group and its Sunni militant allies continue to advance through much of north and west Iraq, leaving the country facing its worst crisis since US troops withdrew in 2011. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) previously reported that tens of thousands of Yazidis had fled the Islamic State group’s onslaught in order to seek refuge in the Sinjar mountain range. However, an American assessment team found “far fewer” Yazidis stranded on Mount Sinjar than first expected, with continued access to food and water from air drops. The UNHCR said that some 80,000 Yezidis had escaped from the mountain in the last five days. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Thursday the number of those on Sinjar Mountain was “in the neighborhood of 4,000,” adding that around half were local residents. The US has now delivered a total of 114,000 meals and almost 160,000 liters of drinking water. Addressing the press on Thursday, US President Barack Obama said a major rescue operation now seemed unlikely. “We helped save many innocent lives. Because of these efforts, we do not expect there to be an additional operation to evacuate people off the mountain and it’s unlikely we’re going to need to continue humanitarian air drops on the mountain,” Obama said. A spokeswoman for the UK government on Downing Street said on Thursday Britain was “currently reviewing the need for additional airdrops, given that there appear to be adequate supplies on the mountain, but we will keep the option open if we establish there is further need,” news agency AFP reported. Britain has sent seven airdrops so far. Violence continues While the outlook has improved for the minority Yazidi, it has not improved for the country as a whole. Fighting in the western, militant-held city of Fallujah killed four children, along with ten militants, news agency AP quoted the city’s hospital director Ahmed Shami as saying on Thursday. The city has been in IS control since January. “The situation remains dire for Iraqis subject to ISIL’s terror throughout the country,” Obama told the press and pledged to carrying out airstrikes against IS terrorists. “The bottom line is – the situation on the mountain has greatly improved,” Obama told the press, adding that the US would “continue air strikes to protect our people and facilities in Iraq.” According to the International Organization for Migration, more than half a million Iraqis have fled their homes since the Islamic State group began their offensive in June. sb/kb (AP, AFP, Reuters)

Tags: #

Latest News

What to Next

Russian foreign minister says US ready to continue talks

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday he believed his US colleagues were ready to continue dialogue with Moscow on complex iss... More

BJP keen to amend law on permanent residence in held Kashmir

NEW DELHI: Away from the attention that Article 370 attracts, some members and supporters of the Bha­ratiya Janata Party (BJP) are steadily pushin... More

North Korea defiant after new sanctions, rejects talks

SEOUL (AFP):North Korea on Monday angrily insisted tough new United Nations sanctions would not stop it from developing its nuclear arsenal, and warne... More

Does Trump worry you? US Muslims say yes : Survey

Survey finds Muslims feel out of place in society, displeased with their president, and are targets of discrimination. The early days of Donald Tru... More

DEATH TO ISIS:Thousands flood streets in furious protest to condemn terror group

Thousands of protesters chanted slogans against the militant Islamic State group Wednesday as they carried the coffins of victims of an attack targeti... More

China says restrained in face of India

BEIJING: China accused India on Wednesday of “concocting” excuses over the illegal entry of the South Asian nation’s military into C... More

COAS, Afghan envoy discuss border issues

ISLAMABAD: Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa met Afghanistan’s ambassador Dr Omar Zakhilwal on Wednesday for continuing discussions on normalisation of... More

Apple removes VPN services from Chinese app store

BEIJING: Apple has removed software allowing internet users to skirt China’s “Great Firewall” from its app store in the country, the... More

IS claims attack on Iraq embassy in Kabul

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Iraqi embassy in Kabul on Monday and militants breached the compound in a complex hours-long attack claim... More

Saudi-led bloc opens emergency routes to Qatari planes

DUBAI: Four Arab states that have cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar said on Monday that they have opened up air routes that Qatari planes c... More