Soldiers in the Czech Republic load ammunition for delivery to Iraq’s Kurds last September. Photo: EPA.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Czech Republic announced Sunday that 5,000 anti-tank missiles were on their way to the Kurdistan Region, just as Peshmerga forces consolidated a string of victories against Islamic State (ISIS) by recapturing Shingal.
Military officials in the Czech Republic, whose government agreed last September to aid the Kurds in the war against ISIS, said that a plane loaded with weapons was on its way from Prague to Erbil.
“The cargo plane contains 5,000 anti-tank missiles to help the Peshmerga forces in the fight against ISIS,” a Czech military official said.
Earlier this year, the Czech government approved the delivery of 10 million rounds of ammunition for Kalashnikov assault rifles, eight million rounds for machine guns, 5,000 for rocket-propelled grenades and 5,000 hand grenades for Kurdish fighters.
In a meeting last month, Kurdish representatives expressed interest in acquiring more helicopters and aircraft, according to Czech media reports.
The Kurds are fresh from victories this week over ISIS. Nearly 8,000 Peshmerga fighters launched their biggest operation against ISIS northwest of Iraq on Wednesday.
Peshmerga forces entered Shingal late Saturday after recapturing 2,700 square kilometers of territory from ISIS, military sources have said.
Earlier Sunday, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani spoke to reporters from Mount Shingal, saying Peshmerga have made history.
“The Peshmerga have made history here by recapturing this area in just 24 hours. I’m sure our martyrs are happy to see this day,” he said.