Turkey threw its weight behind Iraq’s Kurds on Friday, pledging it would do all it could alongside its ally to end the ISIL menace.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited the Kurd’s President Massoud Barzani in the Kurd’s capital Erbil, to announce his support for Peshmurga fighters. And with Baghdad at last agreeing with the Kurds on oil exports through Turkey, the stakes are even higher.
“The Kurdish Regional government will send 150,000 barrels of Kirkuk oil through the pipeline that goes through Turkey to the export terminal,” said Barzani.
When the ISIL crisis erupted the Kurds were critical of Ankara’s refusal to help, despite the masses of refugees and reports of atrocities.
“Turkey will give every kind of essential support for the security of the Kurdish region. This is an historical, humanitarian, and also strategic issue for us. One of the topics we discussed was training. Our security support will increase going forward,” said Davutoglu.
The Kurds also asked Turkey to do more to prevent Islamic militants crossing from Turkey into Iraq and Syria. Until recently Turkey had been trying to stop Kurds from crossing to fight ISIL.