Sen. Cruz Issues Statement On Situation Involving Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government and the Government of Iraq
I recently issued the following statement regarding the situation involving the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government and the Government of Iraq:
Prime Minister Abadi and the Government of Iraq must maintain its focus on defeating the Islamic State, and halt all efforts that contribute to a regional escalation against the Kurdish people. They have demonstrated considerable gallantry in the face of the Islamic State and have more than earned our continued support. Such hostile actions pose a grave threat to the safety of our allies and the stability of the counter-ISIS mission at large. We must not permit our support or our military equipment to be used by Iranian-backed militias toward a new, ill-conceived operation that is counter to U.S. interests. Iran’s dangerous influence is far reaching, only emboldened with billions of dollars in sanctions relief after the catastrophic nuclear deal. The events of the past week in Kirkuk are yet another indication of their ambitious efforts to reshape and influence the Middle East.
Further, the Iraqi Kurds, who have been instrumental in deterring ISIS, have expressed their clear desire for independence. Democracies across the globe should recognize the efforts made by the Kurdistan Regional Government to achieve self-determination, in the face of regional actors threatening their very livelihood.
Should the Government of Iraq continue down this path and effectively act as a puppet of Iran, it would require a reevaluation of U.S. support to the country.