Cyprus could send more light arms, ammunition to Kurdistan: FM
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Foreign Minister of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulides said on Friday that his country could send more light weapons and ammunition to the Peshmerga forces to help them in the fight against the Islamic State (IS).
Cyprus has already sent two shipments of Serb-made Zastava assault rifles and ammunition to the Peshmerga fighters, delivered by US authorities, Kasoulides said.
He added that further shipment and assistance to the Kurdistan Region would be sent in consultation with the partners of Cyprus in the US-led coalition.
The Cyprus official also noted that the island fully supports Iraq’s territorial integrity.
The diplomat mentioned that France helped to deliver unused Cypriot light weapons and ammunition to the armed forces in Lebanon to repel extremist group’s attacks on its northern border.
According to Kasoulides, Jordan has received similar assistance from Cyprus.
Peshmerga have been one of the most efficient ground forces to defeat the IS in the northern Iraq, according to former US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.
During the rise of the IS in the mid-2014, Iraqi army collapsed and failed to fight the jihadist group which helped the IS to expand in different provinces after confiscating heavy weapons of the Iraqi army.
Since 2014, about 2,000 Peshmerga fighters have fallen while fighting the jihadist group and 12,000 more were wounded, according to Peshmerga Ministry.
Editing by Sam A.