ERBIL — US Senator Ted Cruz has warned the Iraqi central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi over taking “hostile actions” against Kurds.
“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,” Cruz said in an official statement on Thursday.
“They [Kurds] 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.”
He also criticised the fall of US military equipment into the hands of the Iran-backed Shi’ite militias of Hashd al-Shaabi to be used against Kurds.
“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.”
Endorsing the September independence referendum in Kurdistan, in which over 92% of people voted in favour of statehood, Senator Cruz said that the democratic international community should recognise the will of people of Kurdistan for self-determination.
“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,” he added.