Plane failures expose army's struggle to meet new German foreign policy ambitions

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German defense officials have been left red-faced after a series of breakdowns delayed the first shipment of arms to Kurdish fighters in Iraq.

The delivery broke with a taboo in Germany against sending weapons to war zones, reflecting the more active foreign policy the country has undertaken recently.

But both the arms and the military instructors sent to train Kurdish fighters were stranded after their planes suffered breakdowns. The Defense Ministry says they finally arrived late Thursday after delays.