Iraqi MPS reject U.S. plans for military base in Kurdish north

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By Shaymaa Adel

October 28, 2014

The parliament says U.S. plans for a military base in northern Iraq are unacceptable.

The parliamentary Security and Defense Commission has publicly denounce such plans, saying construction of bases for foreign troops in Iraq will lead to the country’s fragmentation.

“A step like this will mark the re-occupation of Iraq,” said Majid al-Gharawi, a commission’s member. “Washington wants to divide Iraq by establishing a special region for (Muslim) Sunnis to separate some provinces from central government authority.”

Gharawi’s comments are in response to press reports that U.S. wants to have a military base in the Hareer plain, north of the Kurdish city of Arbil.

“U.S. intention to build a military base in the area of Hareer is unacceptable,” said Gharawi. “The purpose behind the move is to occupy Iraq once again and exert pressure on central government for more concessions.”

The deputy said the government was staking reports of deploying foreign troops in Iraq to fight Islamic State (IS) seriously.

Despite the threat Islamic State militants pose to both the central government in Baghdad and Kurdish Regional Government in Arbil, Iraq has strongly rejected calls for the presence of foreign troops on its soil.

Gharawi said the parliament will be convened to respond to moves by the U.S. for a military base in the Kurdish north.

“Washington is seeking a foothold (in Iraq) for its own economic and military interests,” said Gharawi.