Kurdish intel chief urges EU to help fight against ISIL
Masrour Barzani, intelligence chief of the Kurdish regional government wants the EU to equip and train Peshmerga forces to fight against ISIL.

Kurdish regional government has called on the European Union for military assistance to defeat the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on the ground.

Masrour Barzani, intelligence chief of the Kurdish regional government, asked the European Affairs committee on Tuesday in Brussels to provide the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces with heavy artillery, military tanks and helicopters to evacuate wounded from tents.

While airstrikes against ISIL have been ‘helpful’, ground forces are going to win the war, according to Barzani. He asked the EU to provide military training for Peshmerga forces, out which only 40 to 50 thousand are ‘’young enough to fight’’.

''We want people [Peshmerga forces] to be trained today so they can 6 months from now use the sophisticated weapons if you give them to us,'' he said. ''We are asking you to help us train these people so they can be ready and equipped with weapons.''

On September 16, ISIL launched an offensive on Kobane, causing 200,000 people to flee across the Turkish border and hundreds of people getting killed. On October 31, the first group of Peshmerga forces entered Kobane through the border crossing with Turkey, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Barzani implied that the only way for the Syrian regime to survive was to have a ‘worse alternative’ like ISIL. The international community is left with the third choice of supporting the moderate opposition, which will never be strong enough to be successful if ISIL grow, he said.

- 'ISIL is a consequence of wrong policies'

If the political situation in Iraq included the Sunni, Shia and Kurdish populations equally then the situation would have been different today, according to Barzani.

In August, Iraq’s former embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stepped down from his post when President Fouad Massoum officially asked Haider al-Ibadi, the deputy speaker of parliament, to move into office as the new prime minister.

''I am sure that lots of people would not have reason to support ISIL against (Baghdad) and the Iraqi army would not have collapsed,’’ he said.

Barzani said support for ISIL did not grow out of sympathy but because of hatred against the government in Iraq, prompting them to join forces with anyone who wanted to retaliate.

Led by shadowy cleric Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIL is seeking to establish a transnational caliphate that currently straddles Iraq and Syria.

The group is accused of heinous war crimes, including selling women into the sex trade, and targeting religious minorities who are unable to flee their advances.

Last Modified: 2014-11-05 09:13:34
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