Iraqi commander slams US Congress bill to split Iraq
A high-ranking Iraqi military figure has strongly dismissed a controversial US Congress bill which proposes the division of Iraq into three states and allows the Kurdish forces and the Sunni tribesmen to be armed directly without Baghdad’s approval, Press TV reports.
In an exclusive interview with Press TV on Tuesday, Secretary General of Iraq’s Badr Organization Hadi al-Ameri censured the proposed bill as a “Zionist plan,” adding, “We should realize that dividing Iraq, Syria or any other Arab nation is a Zionist project to help Israel exhibit itself as the strongest entity in the region.”
Ameri further said US Vice President Joe Biden had spoken of the bill back in 2008, adding that when he “brought up the idea of Iraq’s breakup, he was in the opposition camp and Republicans were in charge. Republicans rebuffed the division as well as Biden’s scheme at the time. Today, Republicans are adopting the same division plan. We will not allow this to happen. Iraq will not be divided.”
Secretary General of Iraq’s Badr Organization Hadi al-Ameri speaks during an exclusive interview with Press TV, May 5, 2015.
The Iraqi commander also noted that the sovereignty of Iraq is sacred and all ethnic and religious groups want their country to remain united.
The draft of the US annual defense bill, which was released on April 27 by the House Armed Services Committee, urges the US government to recognize separate Kurdish and Sunni states and provide them with at least 25 percent of the USD-715-million aid money planned to be given to the Iraqi government to help it fight the ISIL terrorist group.
The draft bill also says the figure could even amount to 60 percent of the money, about USD 429 million.
The bill mandates that “the Kurdish Peshmerga, the Sunni tribal security forces with a national security mission, and the Iraqi Sunni National Guard be deemed a country,” adding that doing so “would allow these security forces to directly receive assistance from the United States.”
The comments come as Iraqi politicians and clerics have voiced opposition to the idea, saying only the Iraqi people can decide about the future of their country.
On April 29, influential Iraqi Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, also warned Washington against the recent US Congress bill to consider Iraqi Kurds and Sunnis as a separate country.
He said if the bill is passed, Iraq will no longer be a safe place for the US, and its interests will become the target of attacks by the Iraqis who will never accept the “division of their country.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi also held a phone conversation with Biden last week and expressed concern over the Congress bill.