The US and Israel have vast influence in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and have great interest in the secession of Kurdistan from Iraq, says J. Michael Springmann, a former US diplomat in Saudi Arabia.
The US “encourages the Kurds to rebel against the government of Iraq,” Springmann told Press TV on Sunday. “The United States and Israel have been doing their best for quite some time now to divide Iraq.”
“What they’ve got now is a holy partnership between the United States of America, the Kurds and Israel,” he said.
“Israel has great investment, great control and great influence in northern Iraq,” he added. “They are looking at it as part of Greater Israel.”
Reactions continue to pour in over the independence referendum in the Kurdistan region, which was held in defiance of widespread calls for its cancellation.
The US said on Monday that it was “deeply disappointed” by the Iraqi Kurdistan’s “unilateral” independence referendum, adding it would increase “hardships” for people living in the region.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani that pushing for independence risked sparking an “ethnic war" in the region.
Erdogan also emphasized that all options, including economic sanctions and military measures, are on the table in response to the Kurdish vote.
The Turkish president said that only the Tel Aviv regime would recognize the Kurdistan independence.
On Sunday, Iran closed its airspace to all flights to and from the Kurdish region at the request of the Iraqi government.
Tehran has advised against the “unilateral” scheme, underlining the importance of maintaining the integrity and stability of Iraq amid its ongoing war against Takfiri terrorist groups such as Daesh.
Syria has also rejected the independence referendum by Iraq’s Kurds as “unacceptable,” stressing that Damascus only recognizes a unified Iraq.