Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan – U.S. President, Barack Obama, said on Friday that he authorized air strikes against specific targets of the Islamic States militants in northern Iraq, if the interests of the United States have been threatened there, after IS (al-Qaeda offshoot group previously known as ISIL) controlled large areas of northern Iraq.
“We can move with caution and responsibility to prevent a possible genocide in northern Iraq,” Obama stated, refusing the idea of sending American forces to Iraq again. He pointed out that the United States cannot and should not intervene whenever a crisis took place in the world.
In a linked context, France expressed on Thursday its willingness to support the forces of Iraqi Kurdistan in an attempt to stop the advance of IS militants and did not disclose details about the form and mechanism of aid to be provided.
France announcement to support the Kurdistan Region came after a telephone conversation between the French President François Hollande and the President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani, agreeing on cooperation and coordination between both sides, according to a statement issued by the French president’s office.
The statement added that they confirmed their desire to cooperate to stop the attack of the Islamic State in north-eastern Iraq, pointing out that the French president emphasized that France is ready to support the Kurdish troops of the Peshmerga who are involved in this fight.
For his part, Labu Bastyli, Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Italy, demanded urgent international support to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to assist them in the face of the Islamic State’s gunmen and regain stability in the currently IS-held areas in northern Iraq.
During his visit to the city of Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan Region, Bastyli said: “As long as Erbil generously hosts thousands of fleeing Christians, we are obliged to ask the international community to support the KRG and the Peshmerga forces.”
He added that the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Peshmerga forces stand alone in a military front along more than a thousand kilometers, in order to try to liberate some besieged communities in increasingly desperate circumstances.
In the same context, Pope Francis, the pope of the Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome, issued a statement on Friday on the situation in Iraq, saying that he continues with great concern the news coming out of Iraq, and especially with regard to the Iraqi minorities, calling the international community to defend those affected by the violence, to provide assistance and relief to the refugees.
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Peshmerga in Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, Anwar Haj Othman, said in a statement to local media on Thursday that American jets arrived at the Kurdistan region, and began pounding IS group in both al-Kwair and Shingal.
Kurdish press sources said that Turkish jets (type F16) entered the air zone of the Kurdistan Region and carried out two air strikes on two IS -held sites on Thursday midnight.
Noteworthy, the Islamic State dominated areas in the north of Iraq, amid battles with the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Shingal, Sinjar, Rabia and Zamar.
Reporting by: Azad Jamkari
Source: ARA News
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