Prime Minister Erna Solberg has agreed to send help to Iraq. Photo: Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB scanpix
Norway will contribute with transport to aid the humanitarian crisis in Iraq after US requested help from European allies, according to NTB on Friday.
The Norwegian government will send a Hercules transport airplane to Iraq for three months. It can be ready for action for flight on 48-hours notice. After that, the situation for aid will be re-evaluated.
Norway will not contribute with military support, since this doesn’t coincide with the Norwegian regulations for export of military equipment.
The humanitarian situation in northern Iraq has been desperate since the jihad group “The Islamic State” (IS) this summer took control over Mosul city. Since then, IS has taken a third of Iraq and during a couple of months created 1.2 million refugees.
Some of the refugees, among them thousands of Yazidis, escaped up the Sinjar mountain when IS came into the area. The mountain is now mostly cleared of people, but the refugees now face a new challenge, as they have to survive in Arbil city in the Kurdish areas of Iraq.
The Norwegian government reacted to a plea from the US on Thursday for military and humanitarian aid.
During a political debate on Thursday, Prime Minister Erna Solberg said: “It is about humanitarian and military matters. What is relevant for Norway is to contribute with humanitarian aid. We are aware that there is a humanitarian crisis [in Iraq]. The government will have a look at what we can contribute to with regards to military equipment that can be used to help deliver humanitarian support.”