ROME, August 11 (RIA Novosti) - The Italian Defense Ministry may join the search for a resolution to the Iraqi crisis, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said in an interview with the Rai News 24 television channel.
“We are currently assessing a series of initiatives that concern not only the [Italian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but, possibly, the Italian Defense Ministry,” Mogherini said, answering a question on whether the Italian military may get involved in the resolution of the Iraqi crisis.
The minister also added that she had held telephone talks with Iraqi Kurdistan leader Massoud Barzani, who asked her for “not just humanitarian help.”
According to Mogherini, Rome is currently discussing “measures of military support,” with its main EU partners. The “measures” do not imply direct military intervention but may involve the provision of military support to Iraqi Kurds.
The Sunni militant group Islamic State (IS), previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Greater Syria (ISIS or ISIL) has been fighting in Syria against the country’s president, Bashar Assad. IS launched an offensive in Iraq in June, taking over large parts of the country, with the goal of seizing Baghdad. Also in June, the group announced the establishment of a caliphate on the Iraq-Syria border. The Islamist caliphate includes regions with Christians and other religious minorities.