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US, Israel presence in Iraqi Kurdistan threatens regional stability, security: Analyst to Press TV

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A US soldier walks at the Qayyarah air base, where US-led troops are positioned near Mosul in northern Iraq. (File photo by AFP)

A political analyst tells Press TV that the presence of US and Israeli bases in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region poses a direct threat to stability, security and independence of regional countries.

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 Region on September 25, 2017 held a non-binding referendum 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.

Elsewhere in his remarks, al-Atwani said the Americans, in spite of their new defense systems, are not able to defend their bases against precise and advanced weapons and have no choice but to accept the Iraqi Parliament’s law demanding their withdrawal from the country.

Asked whether he sees a link between the recent attacks by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists on Iraqi oil wells in the north and presence of the US and Israel in that region, the political analyst said such attacks are actually aimed at prolonging the US military presence in Iraq.

“The motive behind such attacks, some of which have taken place in Baghdad, is to send a message to the Iraqi public and political [parties] that the American forces, or let’s say the [US-led] coalition forces, must have a long presence in Iraq,” al-Atwani remarked.

This has prompted “some Iraqi politicians to welcome the presence of these forces in their country,” he said.

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