High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, arrived in the Iraqi capital Baghdad Monday to express EU’s support for Iraq in its fight against terrorism.
Mogherini met Tuesday with Kurdistan Regional Government’s President Masoud Barzani in Erbil.
She termed Iraqi Peshmerga’s recent successes against ISIL in northwestern Mount Sinjar, where the ISIL’s weeks-long siege was broken, as a very important military success.
“You gave hope to the Ezidi people that they can return to their homes. Second, this is a psychological success. You proved to the whole world that the ISIL could be broken. Thirdly, you showed that culturally different ethnic groups can live together that is more important than all others," she said.
The top EU diplomat reiterated that all countries in Europe were ready to give military and security assistance to the Iraqi Kurdish region. "We need to help each other to fight against ISIL in this battle," she said.
Also, she expressed EU's readiness to enhance its relationship with Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government in its fight against the terrorist group.
Barzani said Peshmerga killed around 400 ISIL militants in ongoing battles in the country.
The Peshmerga took control of Sinjar Saturday after three days of clashes. Barzani's office said around 8,000 Peshmerga had participated in the operation, which began with international coalition airstrikes followed by a ground assault.
“The ISIL terrorists got a severe blow in Sinjar and afterwards they had to retreat from an area of three thousand square meters during which more than 400 of their fighters were killed,” the Kurdish regional president said.
He also spoke about assistance from Turkey. “We hoped that Turkey would give more assistance during the battle, but Turkey is a state and it has its own policy,” he said.
Iraq has been in a security vacuum since June, when ISIL stormed Mosul and declared what it called a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.