Rome, Oct 15 (IANS/AKI) Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Tuesday thanked Kurdish forces in Syria for their help in defeating the Islamic State in the war-torn country, warning the jihadist group still posed a severe security threat.
“Italy is profoundly grateful to Syria’s Kurds for the fight against IS,” Di Maio told members of the lower house of parliament.
“The threat Daesh poses is still very serious and concrete,” Di Maio warned, using the Arabic acronym for IS.
Kurdish-led forces have been a key ally of the US in its battle against IS in Syria. They have decried the withdrawal of US forces from the Kurdish-administered northeast, signalled last week by President Donald Trump, calling it “a stab in the back”.
Trump’s announcement effectively triggered Turkey’s six-day-old aerial offensive in the region, in which scores of people have been killed and several hundred thousand displaced.
Western countries are concerned that Turkey’s operation against Kurdish forces risks a mass escape of IS fighters, of whom there are at least 10,000 held in camps across northeast Syria, according to Kurdish and US officials. The IS militants are being guarded by Kurdish-led forces.