Pesh­merga min­is­ter asks France for mil­i­tary help

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

French Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande met with a Kur­dish Pesh­merga del­e­ga­tion on Wed­nes­day at the El­y­see Palace to dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of arm­ing Kur­dish forces to help them de­feat Is­lamic State.

Known for his proac­tive role in France's in­ter­ven­tion in Libya in 2011, French philoso­pher Bernard-Henri Levy was also present at the meet­ing.

He ac­com­pa­nied the del­e­ga­tion on a visit to the Paris kosher su­per­mar­ket and a me­mo­rial out­side the for­mer head­quar­ters of weekly satir­i­cal news­pa­per Char­lie Hebdo, where six­teen peo­ple were killed by Is­lamist gun­men in Jan­uary.

Levy has been ad­vo­cat­ing the arm­ing of Pesh­merga fighters, par­tic­u­larly since the attack on Char­lie Hebdo and the Hy­per Cacher.

"When we were in front of Mo­sul, I spoke to Com­man­der Barzani about Char­lie Hebdo and I told him that th­ese were the same killers, the same enemies and the same fight," he said, speak­ing to Min­is­ter of Pesh­merga Af­fairs Mustafa Sayid Qadir.

France's De­fence Min­is­ter Jean-Yves Le Drian greeted Qadir, who was ac­com­pa­nied by Pesh­merga Com­man­der Sir­wan Barzani and the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment in France, Khaman Zrar.

While brave and well-led, the Kurds have found them­selves out­gunned in bat­tles with Is­lamic State.

Qadir ap­pealed to the French gov­ern­ment to aid Kur­dish Pesh­merga fighters by pro­vid­ing them with weapons.

"An­other rea­son for our meet­ing and our visit is to ask the pres­i­dent of the repub­lic (of France) to help us a lit­tle bit more in terms of ar­ma­ment so we can de­feat Is­lamic State as fast as pos­si­ble," he said.

More than 1,000 Pesh­merga have been killed in com­bat with Is­lamic State mil­i­tants since they over­ran a third of Iraq last sum­mer, but sev­eral hun­dred Kurds have joined the other side and are fight­ing against their eth­nic kin.

France will send a key del­e­ga­tion to Kur­dis­tan Re­gion in Iraq to dou­ble its sup­port to Kurds and to arm Pesh­merga forces in their fight against the ter­ror­ist Is­lamic State of Iraq and the Le­vant or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Ear­lier, the French Pres­i­dent Fran­cios Hol­lande promised that his coun­try “would sup­ply weapons and am­mu­ni­tions to the Kur­dish forces fight­ing the ISIL in a meet­ing with Kur­dish Min­is­ter of Pesh­merga at the El­y­see palace in Paris on last Wed­nes­day.”

“We have been promised weapons and am­mu­ni­tions and when they are de­liv­ered, you will know what types of weapons they are,” said Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Pesh­merga Min­is­ter Mustafa Sayid Qadir at a press con­fer­ence.

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