October 17, 2017

Van Hollen Statement on Clashes Between Iraqi Government and Kurdish Peshmerga Forces

Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen issued the following statement on clashes between the Iraqi government and Kurdish Peshmerga forces:

"I am deeply disturbed by reports of the Iraqi government's military assault on Kirkuk and surrounding Kurdish territory and call on Prime Minister Abadi to immediately cease hostilities against Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria are vital partners of the United States and have played an essential role in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The Iraqi government's military offensive against Kurdish forces undermines the coalition's efforts to combat ISIS and is an outright abuse of U.S.-provided defense equipment. I strongly urge Prime Minister Abadi to work with the Kurdistan Regional Government to halt clashes, restore calm, and avoid further provocations."