- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Britain will begin transporting critical military supplies to Kurdish fighters engaged in a battle with a violent Islamic militant group that is persecuting thousands of religious minorities in northern Iraq.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague made public his country’s intentions after meeting with a crisis response committee on developments in Iraq, according to a representative for British Prime Minister David Cameron. Britain will gather military supplies “from other contributing states” and deliver them to the Kurdish fighters “so that they can provide effective protection” to Yazidi refugees fleeing the militant group, known as the Islamic State, and ongoing humanitarian operations, the representative said.

Britain is the first country to publicly announce that it will help arm the Kurds so they can maintain the upper hand in an ongoing battle against the Islamic State.

The U.S. government also is arming the fighters with machine guns and rifles, but only through a covert channel established by the CIA, according to The Associated Press.

It is unclear whether Britain will help facilitate the weapons that the U.S. government is funneling to the fighters via the covert channel.

To date, Britain has conducted three air deliveries of water, 3,180 reusable water containers and 816 solar lanterns to the displaced Yazidis, the representative said. The Pentagon has delivered more than 85,000 food packages and 20,000 gallons of water to the Yazidis.

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