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Germany flies humanitarian aid to Iraq

A Transall transport aircraft of German Bundeswehr starts from the airfield in Alt Duvenstedt, about 100km (60 miles) north of Hamburg, northern Germany, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. Germany sends humanitarian aid as drinking water, blankets, medicine and food to Irbil, northern Iraq. (AP Photo/Axel Heimken, pool) -
A Transall transport aircraft of German Bundeswehr starts from the airfield in Alt Duvenstedt, about 100km (60 miles) north of Hamburg, northern Germany, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. Germany sends humanitarian aid as drinking water, blankets, medicine and food to Irbil, northern Iraq. (AP Photo/Axel Heimken, pool)
— image credit:

By The Associated Press

BERLIN - Five German air force planes have taken off for Iraq with 36 tons of humanitarian aid to help civilians uprooted by fighting in the north of the country.

Air force spokesman Capt. Andre Hesse said the planes left early Friday carrying drinking water, blankets, medicine and food to be unloaded in Irbil and handed over to U.N. organizations.

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said earlier this week that Germany was planning to also send non-lethal military aid such as vehicles, night-vision gear and bomb detectors.

In an interview with German daily Bild published Friday, Von der Leyen was quoted as saying that "weapons are already being delivered by other nations; we are examining at present what other military equipment we can send."

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