Germany resumes weapons deliveries to Kurds in north Iraq

August 17, 2016 11:55 AM EDT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - The German military on Wednesday said it had resumed deliveries of weapons to Kurdistan after the government of the northern Iraqi region vowed to ensure the arms did not end up on the black market.

A defense ministry spokesman said Germany had delivered 70 tonnes of weapons, including 1,500 rifles, 100 shoulder-fired rockets and three armored vehicles, to the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil on Tuesday.

Germany halted weapons deliveries in January after media reports that some weapons sent to Kurdistan to help it fight Islamic State militants had later been offered for sale on the black market.

An investigation by the Kurdistan government completed earlier this year found that about 30 weapons of over 28,000 delivered by Germany had been sold illegally or lost. Kurdish authorities arrested several people as a result.

Kurdish officials have signed a declaration that the weapons delivered on Tuesday will not be resold.

Germany has sent over 30 shipments of weapon totaling more than 2,000 tonnes to the Kurdistan regional government since 2014, the ministry spokesman said.

Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in January agreed to increase the number of German soldiers training Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to 150 from 100.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Andrew Roche)



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