MESOP FROM KUWEIT : France to support Iraqi Kurds in fight against ISIL

PARIS, Aug 8  (KUNA) — French President Francois Hollande on Thursday vowed to support Kurdish forces engaged in a fierce battle against radical militants from the extremist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The radical group is currently sweeping through areas of northeast Iraq that are inhabited by minority groups like Yezidis and Christians amid reports of massive abuses against those populations, including executions, kidnappings, forced enslavement and conversions under duress.

Hollande called earlier today Massoud Barzani, President of Kurdistan Region, to offer support against ISIL and “both expressed a willingness to cooperate in blocking the offensive” by the radicals, the French leader’s office said in a statement.

“The persecution by this terrorist group of religious minorities, notably Christians and Yezidis, is an extremely grave crime,” Hollande told Barzani, outlining what he had heard of the “abominable abuses” against these populations with the fall of the town of Qaraqosh earlier.Hollande accused ISIL of further demonstrating its “destructive madness” and he told Barzani of the need to protect the endangered populations who must be maintained in the region, although France will offer asylum to those you want to leave Iraq and have solid ties here. The French President also stressed that France will be addressing the issue of fighting terrorism in Iraq and protecting minority populations there during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council that Paris called for earlier Thursday.

France will want to get a mobilisation on an international level to halt ISIL in its tracks in Iraq. “The Head of State confirmed France’s availability to bring support to the (Kurdish) forces engaged in this fight,” Hollande’s office indicated. France will also work on an international level to “come to the assistance of the authorities in Kurdistan, as much for the action against the Islamic State terrorist group, as to bring responses to the (predicament) of the displaced and threatened civilian populations.” (end)