BRUSSELS, Nov 4 (KUNA) -- The Chancellor of the Security Council of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Masrour Barzani, Tuesday called on Europe for more financial, military and political support to fight the ISIL.
"Now is the time for the EU to exercise its leadership role and increase its engagement with us. The EU must work hand in hand with the Kurdistan region to identify an immediate strategy to defeat this terrorist threat so that you do not face them in your capitals," he told the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee in Brussels.
He complained that the international community is "unprepared and unwilling" to provide the Kurdish military, known as the Peshmerga, with the heavy arms needed to defeat the ISIL.
"There have been some geneours donations from European countries. But they have mostly been ammunition and light weapons," he said.
"We do need heavy equipment, tanks, heavy artillery, armoured vehicles and sophisticated weapon to outgun the enemy" he said.
Referring to the issue of referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan, he said "referendum is the right of the Kurdish people."
"We need to know what the Kurds really want to do and what decisions they will make in the future. We want this referendum to be conducted so that we and the world will understand and know what exactly the Kurdish people want to shape their future."
He said that ISIL earns between USD 3-6 million per day by selling oil on the black market and also from ransom and taxes.
On Turkey, he said "we were expecting a much bigger support from Turkey against the ISIL. We hope the Turkish role will be much more than it has been so far."
He said Iran came to the assistance of the Iraqi Kurds and noted that Iranians have influence in Iraq through the government in Baghdad. "Any alliance against ISIL we will appreciate," he added.
Barzani said the ISIL and the Assad regime helped each other to confuse the international community on who is the worst alternate.
He said there is a third way which is neither to support ISIL nor the Assad regime but the moderate Syrian opposition, he added.
Barzani stressed that "we are determined to resolve our differences with Baghdad through democratic and peaceful means, but the status quo cannot continue." (end)