(ANSA) - Rome, August 11 - The United States has been supplying weapons to Iraqi Kurds who oppose the Islamic State (IS) group which has been attacking religious minorities in Iraq, American officials said Monday.
The admission comes amid rising political turmoil, as the country's prime minister Nouri Maliki has said he will take Iraq's president Faud Masum to court for allegedly violating the constitution there. Maliki's coalition won the most seats in elections last April, but parliament has not agreed to give him a third term.
Maliki is facing calls to step down and has fought back by saying Masum should have supported him.
Meanwhile, the US has also been conducting air strikes against IS, which has violently taken control of parts of the country.
US State Department officials Monday confirmed that Kurds are being supplied with weapons to fight the jihadists via the CIA.
Earlier, Italy's Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini ruled out the possibility of an Italian military intervention in Iraq.
"We are assessing more effective ways (to stop Islamist rebels in northern Iraq) with our main European partners," said Mogherini, whose previous comments had led some to interpret a military operation could be on the cards. "It's not a military intervention, but support, including military support, to the Kurdish (autonomous) government (who are fighting the jihadists)".
Comments Mogherini made on Sunday about possible initiatives involving the defence ministry sparked speculation Rome was considering some form of direct military intervention.
Original headline: U.S. says it's supplying weapons to Kurds in Iraq conflict
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