The European Union has pledged €1 billion in financing for the crises in Syria and Iraq, and particularly to support the fight against the Islamic State, Federica Mogherini, the boss of the European diplomacy, confirmed on Friday (6 February), saying that this package ”will strengthen our actions to help restore peace and security in a region that is so close to us and that has been devastated by terrorism and violence for too long.” Mrs Mogherini added that the murder of Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh was yet another proof that terrorism had no boundaries and that Muslims were its first victims.
The EU further said in a statement that it had finalized its “first EU comprehensive strategy on tackling the crises in Syria and Iraq and the threat posed by Da’esh”. According to the official statement, with extra €1 billion in funding, the strategy “brings together ongoing and planned initiatives of the EU and its member states and boosts its efficiency.” Jihadist terror in Belgium and France has stoked fears within the block about the risk of European citizens going to get military training with IS in Iraq and Syria and then returning to Europe to carry out terrorist attacks. “We face common challenges and common threats. We share an interest with our friends and partners in the region to stand up to them in the most effective way, and this is what we are doing today,” Mrs Mogherini commented.
The Islamist State had seized vast territories in Syria and Iraq and declared a “caliphate” in the areas under its control and imposed its skewed interpretation of Islam promising to commit further atrocities. Since 2011, when anti-government protests broke out in Syria, jihadists have flocked to the country to transform the conflict into a multi-sided civil war, which has so far left more than 200,000 people dead.