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German defense minister in northern Iraq to meet with Kurds as arms deliveries begin

  • Containers with military equipment for Iraq in front of a Dutch air force plane at the airport in Leipzig, central Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The first German delivery of weapons and ammunition to Iraq had to be postponed due to a technical problem of the Dutch plane. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

    Containers with military equipment for Iraq in front of a Dutch air force plane at the airport in Leipzig, central Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The first German delivery of weapons and ammunition to Iraq had to be postponed due to a technical problem of the Dutch plane. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)  (The Associated Press)

  • A soldier takes photos of containers with military equipment for Iraq next to a Dutch air force plane at the airport in Leipzig, central Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The first German delivery of weapons and ammunition to Iraq had to be postponed due to a technical problem of the Dutch plane. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

    A soldier takes photos of containers with military equipment for Iraq next to a Dutch air force plane at the airport in Leipzig, central Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The first German delivery of weapons and ammunition to Iraq had to be postponed due to a technical problem of the Dutch plane. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)  (The Associated Press)

  • A security man stands besides containers with military equipment for Iraq in front of a Dutch air force plane at the airport in Leipzig, central Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The first German delivery of weapons and ammunition to Iraq had to be postponed due to a technical problem of the Dutch plane. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

    A security man stands besides containers with military equipment for Iraq in front of a Dutch air force plane at the airport in Leipzig, central Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. The first German delivery of weapons and ammunition to Iraq had to be postponed due to a technical problem of the Dutch plane. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's defense minister is in northern Iraq to talk with Kurdish leaders about the fight against Islamic State extremists and Berlin's efforts to help with arms deliveries.

The dpa news agency reported that Ursula von der Leyen landed Thursday in Irbil, where she was to meet with the president of Iraq's largely autonomous Kurdish region, Masoud Barzani.

Germany began delivering arms to the Kurds on Thursday, dispatching a shipment of 50 hand-held anti-tank weapons, 520 G3 rifles and 20 machine guns.

In total, the German plan calls for arming 10,000 Kurdish fighters with some 70 million euros ($90 million) worth of equipment.

Germany is also sending some 40 paratroopers to help train the fighters on the weapons. Separately, some 30 Kurds will train on more complex systems in Germany.