U.S. Must Keep Helping our Partners Fight Terrorists in Iraq
‘So let’s hope this Administration is already learning from their mistakes in Afghanistan. When the Iraqi Prime Minister visits next week, the White House should provide strong assurances that the U.S. will stand strong with our friends and continue to support our partners who are standing up to terror and extremism.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Iraq:
“Next week, President Biden is set to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.
“This meeting comes at an important moment for our shared efforts toward peace and security in Iraq and the region. ISIS has been significantly weakened in Iraq and Syria after years of shared efforts, but the terrorist organization remains a grave threat.
“And ISIS is far from the only threat Iraqis and the Iraqi government are facing.
“For years, Iran has systematically sought to undermine Iraq’s sovereignty.
“Iran’s well-armed proxy militias report to Tehran, not Baghdad, but they operate inside Iraq. These groups have conducted campaigns of intimidation and assassination against peaceful protesters and independent journalists in Iraq. The same brutal methods they employ in Syria, Lebanon, and Iran itself.
“These Iranian-backed militias are also threatening our own American interests in Iraq. Iran wants to pick fights with a superpower while making the nation of Iraq bear the risks.
“The fact is, the U.S. is in Iraq at the invitation of their government. We’re there to support the Iraqis and help the Iraqis kill terrorists and defend their sovereignty.
“Our presence in Iraq also helps our operations in Syria against ISIS and al Qaeda.
“Again, the terrorist threat is not over.
“Remember, the disastrous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan may not simply be felt in that country. A Taliban victory and resurgence of al Qaeda could embolden jihadists all over the world, just as the rise of ISIS did in the wake of President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq.
“As we watch Afghanistan descend into chaos and ISIS continue to lash out in Iraq and Syria, now is not the time for either the U.S. or Iraq to pretend that our shared mission is over.
“As I’ve warned again and again, terrorists don’t observe our political timetables. They don’t pack up just because we lose faith or lose focus.
“So let’s hope this Administration is already learning from their mistakes in Afghanistan. When the Iraqi Prime Minister visits next week, the White House should provide strong assurances that the U.S. will stand strong with our friends and continue to support our partners who are standing up to terror and extremism.”
Related Issues: ISIL, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, America's Military, Al Qaeda