Rep. Franks Strongly Condemns Violence Against Kurdish Forces in Kirkuk
Washington, D.C. – In reaction to reports that Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Units (i.e. militia groups) – predominantly the Hash’d al-Shaabi – have openly engaged Kurdish defense forces, battling in Kirkuk, Rep. Trent Franks released the following statement strongly condemning the violence and urging the Administration to protect the Kurds and prevent Iran from spreading its influence:
“The Hash’d al-Shaabi has shown its true colors. They are not interested in the collective security of Iraq and the Middle East. Rather, they are a pawn of the corrupt regime in Tehran, committed to affecting a ‘Shi’ite Crescent’ to continue funneling money and arms to designated terrorist groups like Hezbollah.
“The recipe for de-escalation was and continues to be clear, and I echo the sentiments of my previous statements when I say that the American government must end its indifference to our loyal allies, the Kurds. We must respect the desire of our steadfast friends to determine their own destiny. When America sought its independence from Great Britain, we received the blessing of sympathetic world leaders. In turn, the U.S. should support the Kurds’ bid for independence, as doing so is clearly in our national interest.
“With that in mind, I urge Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi to fulfill his pledge to prevent any external or internal attacks against the Kurds and prove Baghdad is not the puppet of Tehran. Otherwise, the U.S. will have no other choice but to pull funding, as it cannot in good conscience send money to an Iranian patsy working to subvert American interests.”