Iraq: US Congress Plan to Arm Kurds Prelude to Religious War
Iraqi Interior Minister Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban strongly blasted a bill proposed by the US Congress that allows the Iraqi Kurds to be armed directly, bypassing Iraq’s central government, as an initial step to stir sectarian war in the country.
Ghabban made the remarks in a meeting with the US ambassador to Iraq in Baghdad on Saturday.
The Iraqi government believes that this measure is unacceptable and a mistake, he said.
Ghabban underlined that the GOP proposal will pave the ground for a religious and civil war in Iraq.
In March 2015, the US Congress introduced legislation which would allocate military articles directly to the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.
“The bill proposed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is opposed (by the Iraqi government), as it leads to further divisions in the region,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Wednesday.
“We call on the US Congress not to go through with the bill to preserve strategic relations between the two countries [the United States and Iraq] in fighting the Islamic State terrorist organization and reinforcing cooperation between them,” al-Abadi added.
The Iraqi Prime Minister added that countries working alongside Baghdad in combatting the ISIL have respected Iraq’s sovereignty, and stressed that nobody will receive weapons without the consent of the central government.
“There is no double dealing with the outside parties… We stress that arming any group will not occur unless via the Iraqi government, in accordance with its military plans,” al-Abadi added.