The UK Ministry of Defence has agreed to supply heavy machine guns and half a million rounds of ammunition to Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State (IS) insurgents in northern Iraq.
The urgent military support was requested by the Iraqi Government to provide the Kurdish Peshmerga forces with additional firepower to defend the frontline, protect civilians and push back IS advances.
UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "We have already provided body armour and other protective equipment, as well as ammunition from our partners; these weapons will help the Kurdish forces in taking the fight to these barbaric terrorists."
In a written statement to the parliament, Fallon said the equipment was worth approximately £1.6m and the MoD would bear an estimated £475,000 in transport costs.
UK aircraft are already transporting military equipment and ammunition to Erbil on behalf of allies, while also delivering UK non-lethal military equipment such as body armour, helmets and ration packs.
In addition, the Royal Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft made several air drops of UK aid comprising water containers, solar lamps and shelter kits, to refugees fleeing IS militants over Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly told that MPs will have a vote on whether the country is to join the US in further military action against the terrorists, who have captured a number of cities in northern Iraq since June.
Image: UK soldiers load military equipment for delivery to Iraq. Photo: courtesy of Crown.