An Italian citizen whose identity was not disclosed was arrested in July by the police of Iraqi Kurdistan for attempting to enlist into the Islamic State army. The arrest, recently announced by the Presidency of Iraqi Kurdistan, was confirmed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is monitoring the case.
The man had reached Kurdistan from Turkey with perfectly regular papers. It is unclear how the Kurdish Authorities concluded that he was going to join the Islamic State militias.
Italy has close relations with Iraqi Kurdistan, a de fact independent State within Iraq engaged in warfare with the Islamic State. The Kurdish prominent role in fighting IS kept Turkey outside the international coalition battling the self-proclaimed Caliphate. Ankara has been repressing for years elements of Kurdish pro-independence resistance in its own territory. The Turkish Government fears that a Kurdish victory against IS in Iraq and Syria would strengthen the Turkish-Kurd cause.