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ECR

Tannock: Iraq Kurds require military as well as humanitarian help

14 August 2014

Tannock: Iraq Kurds require military as well as humanitarian help

The horrific effects of Islamist violence in Kurdish Iraq merits every possible humanitarian aid, but also military help from friendly neighbours to the Kurdistan Regional Government, a senior MEP urged today.

The horrific effects of Islamist violence in Kurdish Iraq merits every possible humanitarian aid, but also military help from friendly neighbours to the Kurdistan Regional Government, a senior MEP urged today.

A comprehensive package of aid and military assistance was recommended by Charles Tannock, ECR spokesman on foreign affairs in the European Parliament, as the only way of countering the carnage wrought by Islamic State (ISIS).M

Dr Tannock, Conservative MEP for London, said: “The horror of the recent fall of Qaraqosh, following the withdrawal of Kurdish forces, as well as the reports of mass executions by IS of Christians who refuse to convert to Islam, is numbing. So are the summary executions of Yazidis without trial.

“These are clearly crimes under international humanitarian law but the UN announcements to this effect are not having any deterrent effect on these brutal callous murderers. Nevertheless I welcome the reported rescue efforts by the UN of trapped Yazidis on Mount Sinjar.

“There are disturbing reports of 100,000 non-Sunni Muslims fleeing Nineveh to the Kurdistan Regional Government in recent days. I salute the efforts of Kurdish forces to defend the territory South East of Mosul and to house so many refugees, but clearly the financial and military resources of Islamic State are far greater than first thought, resulting in Kurdish military withdrawal.

“I also strongly support the call from Pope Francis to mobilise all humanitarian help to the refugees, including additional EU emergency assistance to the KRG to rehouse them. However, I also believe that it is now necessary due to a massive humanitarian crisis and in the face of an onslaught by jihadi fanatics to supply the KRG Peshmergas with sufficient military means to defend themselves and the integrity of the KRG, and to ensure the security of the ethnic and religious minorities under their protection.”

Dr Tannock welcomed President Obama’s decision to launch air strikes to protect trapped Yazidis and prevent Erbil falling, but said this alone would not be enough to stabilise situation unless the KRG was rearmed.

“IS regrettably has some of the best military equipment looted from Iraq, or sadly allegedly supplied directly by certain neighbouring Gulf countries,” he said .

“The huge menace to regional and global stability posed now by IS requires military assistance to friendly governments…and that has to mean assisting the moderate and secular Erbil KRG government under President Barzani.”

Contact John Furbisher

Head of Media, Conservative MEPs

Strasbourg +33 388 17 3935

Mobile +32 498 984760

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