By John Lee.
The Italian government has joined Germany and France in saying they are preparing to send arms and other assistance to both Kurdish aligned forces and the federal government of Iraq in Baghdad.
The move follows a visit to Iraq by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who announced on his return that Italy was now considering arms transfers. EU leaders and ministers have recently been meeting to discuss approaches to the Iraq crisis, with French President Francois Hollande recently proposing an international conference.
Italian Defense Minister went further, suggesting light automatic weapons, in addition to stockpiles of arms captured during the Balkans conflict, were being considered for the first shipment.