US, Israel presence in Iraq’s Kurdistan threatens regional security
The presence of US and Israeli bases in Iraq’s Kurdistan region poses a direct threat to stability, security and independence of regional countries, a political analyst tells Iranian media.
Juma al-Atwani made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Sunday, when asked about the role of Israel and its spy agency, Mossad, in the northern part of the Iraqi territory.
“The Middle East region has been dealing with dangerous and major developments since the 9/11 attacks according to a political project promoted by the United States and the Zionist regime,” he said.
Kurdish officials “believed that the New Middle East plan will help them make their dream of forming an independent government in northern Iraq come true,” the analyst said.
The Iraqi Kurdistan held a non-binding referendum in 2017 on secession from Iraq, despite widespread opposition from Iraq’s officials and neighbors as well as the international community.
Israel was firm in supporting the Kurdish secession, in a move observers said was aimed at securing the flow of oil supplies from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and building a pro-Israeli entity at the heart of the Muslim world.
The move, however, failed as it was declared illegal by Iraq’s top court and the federal government in Baghdad.
Al-Atwani recalled that even when the former President of Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani put the secession to a referendum, Israel backed him.
“That is why the US and Israeli presence in northern Iraq has turned into a reality due to common interests, which are coupled with the approval of most Kurdish [political] parties,” he said.
The political analyst stressed that such presence has harmful implications for regional stability, security and independence.
It is “not accidental,” he said, that US troops maintain presence at airports and the US embassy in the Green Zone of Baghdad.
The analyst pointed to historical relations between Kurdish Region's officials in northern Iraq and Israel, saying the regime in Tel Aviv needs their support to disintegrate Iraq, while the Kurdish officials need Israel’s support to become independent from Iraq.
The expert noted that Kurdish officials have not denied such historical relations, citing Kurdish figure Mahmoud Othman’s admission that some Kurds have traveled to the occupied territories since the beginning of Mustafa Barzani’s leadership to seek Israeli support and coordinate with the regime.