WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan 24) – The influential former Speaker of the US House of Representatives and one-time presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, deplored the attack on Kirkuk by Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shia militias.
“It’s terrible,” Gingrich said on Friday, responding to a question from Kurdistan 24.
“I think the United States should recognize we have a very deep moral commitment to the Kurdish people—who have, consistently, going back 40 years—been prepared to be our allies and have been the most reliable in the region.”
“I think we have to look seriously at providing adequate support and adequate weapons, so [the Kurds] can defend themselves,” he added.
Gingrich also warned about Tehran’s growing influence in Baghdad.
“I think the whole process of the Iranians gradually taking over Iraq is extraordinarily dangerous and would represent a fundamental failure of American power,” the former Speaker said.
“We certainly did not think that replacing Saddam [Hussein] meant that we would replace him with Iranians,” he added.
“We should be opposed to the Iraqi government working with the Iranians to try to defeat” the Kurds, Gingrich said.
Gingrich, thus, joined other senior political figures in warning about Iran’s ever-growing influence in Baghdad.
On Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) issued a statement in which he said, “Should the Government of Iraq continue down this path and effectively act as a puppet of Iran, it would require a reevaluation of US support to the country.”
Gingrich strongly endorsed “the right of the Kurdish people to have self-government,” even as he cautioned that independence would be “challenging” and “very complicated,” because of the opposition of Turkey and Iran, as well as Baghdad.
Before his election to Congress in 1978, Gingrich was a college professor. He served as a Congressman for 20 years and has written 27 books throughout his career.
Gingrich has close ties to the Donald Trump administration. His most recent book, “Understanding Trump,” was published in June.
Editing by G.H. Renaud