French President Francois Hollande (L) speaking at a press conference in Erbil with Kurdish President Massoud Barzani.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—French President Francois Hollande arrived in Erbil on Friday where he pledged his country’s continued support for the Kurds in their fight against the Islamic State (IS).
“Our military support for you will continue and increase in the coming days,” said Hollande in a press conference in Erbil.
“France sent military support for the Kurds when they asked for it,” he added. “You used the support properly and were able to change the balance of power in the region.”
The French president and defence and foreign ministers, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Laurent Fabius, were received by Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani and Peshmerga Minister Mustafa Sayid Qadir.
“The French help was effective to boost the morale of the Peshmerga and the people of Kurdistan,” said Barzani in a press conference. “The arms supply helped in defeating the terrorists.”
Hollande landed in Erbil after a brief visit to Baghdad.
He pledged his country’s continued military support for the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in their fight against the extremist group IS.
“The Peshmerga are recording victories day after day and with everyone’s help we will be able to restore stability,” said Barzani.
The Kurdish president said that the Kurds will continue fighting the IS until the group is eradicated.
The Kurdistan Region is spearheading the fight against the IS in Iraq’s northern provinces.
France has also joined a broad US-led coalition against the IS in Iraq and Syria.
On Thursday 10 Arab states also agreed to join the American coalition for this fight.
Hollande’s aircraft carried 15 tons of humanitarian aid destined for Yezidi and Christian refugees in the Kurdistan Region.
Barzani said that the Kurdish authorities will also facilitate the safe return of more than 1 million refugees to their homes once the IS is driven out of the region.