Germany will send enough weapons to arm 4,000 Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq battling against Islamic State (IS) insurgents, whose advances threaten to destabilise the Middle East, the defence minister said on Sunday.
Iraqi Kurdish forces said they had recaptured the country's biggest dam from Islamic State militants on Monday, although an employee at the site said jihadist fighters still controlled key points on the vulnerable structure.
Kurdish fighters pushed to retake Iraq's largest dam on Sunday and the US conducted a second day of air strikes in the area in a drive to reverse gains by Islamic State insurgents who have overrun much of the country's north.
Iraqi Kurdistan has delivered its third major cargo of crude oil out of a Turkish port and a fourth is sailing to Croatia, showing the autonomous region is finding more buyers despite legal pressure from Baghdad and setbacks in the US.
France will supply arms "in the coming hours" in response to a request for Iraq's Kurdish leadership, President Francois Hollande's office said on Wednesday.
"To meet the urgent needs voiced by the Kurdish r
US refiners will refrain from buying more Kurdish crude oil until a long-running dispute between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan is settled, while Washington urges both sides to set aside their differences.
The two known U.S. buyers o
The US government is directly supplying weapons to Peshmerga fighters from Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region to help them fight Islamist militants, in a deepening of America's military involvement in Iraq, US officials said on Monday.
With Islamist militants just 30 minutes drive away, foreign oil workers are moving out of Iraq's Kurdish capital by the hundreds and business is booming in the city's arms market.
Spared a decade of sectarian conflict in t
Regional power broker Iran believes Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki is no longer able to hold his country together and is looking for an alternative leader to combat a Sunni Islamist insurgency, senior Iranian officials said.
Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki ordered his air force for the first time to back Kurdish forces against Islamic State fighters after the Sunni militants made another dramatic push through the north, state television reported on Monday.