Airstrikes Against IS Positions by EU, US Invaluable for Kurds: Expert

Airstrikes conducted by the United States and some European countries against Islamic State (IS) positions are extremely important for the Kurdish people, Yury Nabiyev, the head of the Russian Society for Solidarity and Cooperation with Kurdish People, said at a press conference Monday.

MOSCOW, October 6 (RIA Novosti) — Airstrikes conducted by the United States and some European countries against Islamic State (IS) positions are extremely important for the Kurdish people, Yury Nabiyev, the head of the Russian Society for Solidarity and Cooperation with Kurdish People, said at a press conference Monday.

"Help from the West, help from the United States to Kurds is, of course, invaluable," Nabiyev said.

He went on to mention US plans to build three military bases in Kurdistan, one of which, at least, will be located in the Kurdish capital of Erbil. Nabiyev also added that Germany was planning to build a medical base in the region.

Speaking of Russia's position on the matter, he said that Russia was right not to rush into joining the coalition against the IS and airstrikes on militant positions, as it was wise to see what direction events would take.

"I think Russia has assumed the right stance on this matter," he said. "It [Russia] is monitoring the situation … to see how the events will develop."

Despite supporting Russia's position, however, Nabiyev said that, in his opinion, it is time to work out a strategy for Russian-Kurdish relations.

Kurds are one of the ethnic groups in Iraq and Syria that have suffered greatly from IS violence. The extremist group has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012, and in June 2014, launched attacks in northern and western Iraq as well, seizing large parts of the country and declaring a caliphate on the territories under its control.

US President Barack Obama announced his decision to form an international anti-IS coalition on September 10. Washington extended its airstrikes against the militants into Syria, while continuing airstrikes against the group’s targets in Iraq. Obama said the United States would arm and equip Kurds, Iraqis and Syria’s moderate opposition in an effort to eradicate the IS.

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