Germany's Merkel rules out sending combat troops to Iraq and giving weapons to Kurdish PKK

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BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out sending German combat troops to Iraq and is dismissing suggestions her country could send weapons to the separatist Kurdish PKK movement.

Germany said last week it is prepared to arm the regional Kurdish government forces battling Islamic militants in northern Iraq. It's still determining what to send them.

Sunday's Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported some German government lawmakers also are considering arming the PKK, which the EU classifies a terrorist organization. Merkel, however, said the group "does not come into question as a recipient" of German arms.

Merkel said in an interview with ARD television Sunday that Berlin "will not under any circumstances send combat troops to Iraq" and has no "concrete plans" to send troops in any other function, such as training.

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