The US Senator John McCain, Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, stated that using the US-supplied weapons by the Iraqi government against Kurds is “totally unacceptable,” BasNews reported.
McCain described the recent offensive of the Iran-backed militias and Iraqi army against Kurds in Kirkuk as “deeply troubling.”
“Clashes this month between the elements of the Iraqi security forces and Kurdish fighters around Kirkuk are deeply troubling, in particular because of the United States’ longstanding friendship with the Kurdish people,” the US senator wrote in an articlepublished by The New York Times.
Regarding the use of the US-provided weapons against Kurds, McCain affirmed that it is “totally unacceptable.”
“This is totally unacceptable. The United States offered arms and training to the government of Iraq to fight the Islamic State and secure Iraq from external threats — not to attack Iraqi Kurds, who are some of America’s most trusted and capable partners in the region.”
According to reports, Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force, was near Kirkuk, planning the attack on Kirkuk by Iran-backed militias, using the US-provided equipment, writes the US senator.
“For decades, the United States’ alliance with the Kurds has protected them from attacks, both from within and outside Iraq,” McCain said.
The US senator stressed that he chooses Kurds over the Iranian-backed militias.
“Let me be clear: If Baghdad cannot guarantee the Kurdish people in Iraq the security, freedom and opportunities they desire, and if the United States is forced to choose between the Iran-backed militias and our longstanding Kurdish partners, I choose the Kurds,” he said.