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France rules out direct military intervention in Iraq

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday that France would offer arms and humanitarian aid to Iraq but does not intend to intervene militarily against the Islamic State without UN Security Council authorisation, Agence France-Presse reported.

During a press conference in Erbil with Kurdistan’s President Massoud Barzani, Fabius said that France, in consultation with its EU partners, is looking into how to supply Kurds in Iraq with weapons to fight against militants from the Islamic State.

“One way or another, they must receive, in a sure way, equipment that will allow them to defend themselves and to counterattack,” he said.

Fabius stressed that French military forces will not be intervening in Iraq, but he commended the US airstrikes.

He is visiting Iraq to oversee the delivery of French humanitarian assistance to Iraqi civilians fleeing radical Islamist militants.

Fabius condemned the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, and particularly its threats against Yazidis. “If that isn’t called genocide, I don’t know what to call it.”

“There are thousands of people on Sinjar mountain as we speak who, if we don’t parachute in supplies, will die,” he warned.

Fabius met earlier with Iraq’s beleaguered Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki.

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