France Ignores Obama, Will Supply Weapons to Kurds

By IAfrica
In World News
Aug 11th, 2014
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Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.

Barzani is the President of Kurdistan, but whoever runs Fabius’ Twitter feed doesn’t seem interested in clarifying that. That can be read as a signal of its own. France is backing the Kurds.

Officially the US is still refusing to supply weapons directly to the Kurds. Unofficially the Kurds claim to be getting weapons through the CIA. That may or may not be true.

Meanwhile France has rather unsubtly announced that it’s going to supply weapons to the Kurds.

France, in consultation with its EU partners, is looking at supplying arms to Iraq’s Kurds to fight against Islamic State jihadists, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Sunday.

“One way or another, they must receive, in a sure way, equipment that will allow them to defend themselves and to counterattack,” Fabius told France 2 television from Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.

“We will look into that over the coming days but in liaison with the Europeans,” he said from the city, which is not far from the IS frontline.

Fabius reiterated that France’s military would not intervene in Iraq without UN Security Council authorisation and a threat to French nationals. “But we commend the work the Americans are doing.”

The subtext here isn’t very subtle. France will work through the EU rather than NATO. There’s also a dig at American unilateralism, this time under the great multilateralist Obama.

Considering that France casually invades countries that the UN Security Council has never even heard of, this sudden multilateralism is meaningless hypocrisy.

Despite some noises, it looks like France intends to avoid direct intervention in Iraq, but will be more aggressive about arming the Kurds and possibly other players. And Fabius is actually on the ground in Baghdad and Erbil. If anyone is likely to push the Iraqis one way or another, it’s the French, who for all their folly are actually able to conduct some kind of diplomacy.

On Twitter, Fabius keeps talking about European solidarity.

That’s certainly a “no”.


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