When the US goes to war in Iraq, it won’t just be for reasons of oil and gas
FourFourtwo The US will not go to war with Iraq in order to extract oil and natural gas from the country, but it will go to fight it, the US secretary of state has said.
The US is not in Iraq to extract resources, but to protect Americans from terrorist attacks, Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters at a joint press conference with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop on Friday.
“What we’re trying to do is to do the right thing, and we are not going to go to any war to do that,” Kerry said.
“What I would say is we’re not going there to make money,” Kerry added, referring to oil and oil-producing countries.
Bishop and Kerry also agreed that Iraq was a critical region for regional stability and stability in the Middle East.
Kerry said he was confident that Iraq would survive a possible attack from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) but stressed the need for Iraqis to take up arms to defend themselves.
“We don’t want to see it, but we need to be prepared,” Kerry told journalists.
“There is a good chance that this is going to happen, but I don’t think we can put ourselves in a position where we would be compelled to take on this risk.”
Bishop added: “Iraq is a critical place, but also, as we said, there is a risk that we may not be able to protect it.”
But the risk that does exist is that, if we don’t take action, there will be an attack that will be even worse.
“The two leaders spoke a day after the Iraqi parliament passed a law making the country an Islamic state, a move that has sparked concerns among many analysts and Iraqi officials.
Iraq’s foreign minister has warned that the move could lead to “a full-scale invasion”.
Iraqi government forces have been trying to recapture the country from IS for several years, but their advance is slow and fragile.
The UN said in September that Iraqi forces had taken back only a small part of Iraq, while a UN report on January 22 said that the country’s security forces had lost 70% of their territory since 2014.
Iraq has also faced a severe humanitarian crisis due to the conflict, with tens of thousands of people displaced from areas controlled by IS and other militant groups.
Kerry called the new law a “historic step” in Iraq.
He said the United States and its allies would be willing to support Iraq in its fight against IS but added that the US would not “do any more to go there to extract a barrel of oil” or to fight against other terrorist groups.
Earlier in the day, Kerry said Iraq’s leaders would “reconsider” a deal that was struck in March to sell the country $3bn of oil.
ABC/wiresTopics:world-politics,government-and-politics-and_the-governance,law-crime-and –justice,government,international-aid-and—world-aid,international_disasters-and.war-2015,world-war-1,afghanistan,australiaFirst posted January 25, 2019 11:08:14