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US to blame for Iraq ‘deterioration’ – Lavrov
June 13, 2014, 12:17 am

Russian officials on Thursday reiterated what they have long held as a mantra of the Kremlin’s foreign policy regarding the Middle East – the US invasion of Iraq created a downward spiral for the whole region.

Alluding to the war for regime change – under the pretext of finding weapons of mass destruction – launched by the US and its allies in March 2003, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that, “the situation in Iraq has been deteriorating at an exponential rate”.

Earlier this week, and following months of continued territorial gains, fighters belonging to a coalition of Islamist militant groups operating under the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized the ethnically mixed city of Mosul in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province.

They then followed up by expanding their attacks south and west, seizing Tikrit – the town where executed President Saddam Hussein lived as a child – in Salahudin Province and pushing toward the ancient city of Samarra.

They vowed to advance toward Baghdad and bring the government of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki down.

Army troops and security forces abandoned their posts at government installations and tore off their uniforms, witnesses said.

With their fighters entrenched in Mosul and most of Nineveh, the former Al-Qaeda affiliates – who have maintained a brutal campaign against the forces of President Bashar Al-Assad in neighbouring Syria – now effectively control a third of Iraq.

“Iraq’s unity has been called into question …Terrorism is rampant there because the occupation forces paid virtually no attention to the internal political processes, and did not facilitate national dialogue, but pursued their own interests exclusively,” Lavrov said in comments carried by the Russian Interfax agency.

“We warned long ago that the adventurism the Americans and the British started there would not end well,” he added.

In June 2013, Russia warned the US of promoting “unconvincing” data on Syria’s alleged chemical weapons use, and thereby repeating the same errors in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Russia has since 2003 said the invasion and occupation of Iraq was a mistake that would haunt the West.

On Thursday, Lavrov did not exclude the UK from his criticism.

“The events that are taking place in Iraq are an illustration of a complete failure of the venture started by the US and the UK that allowed it to spiral out of control completely.”

“We express our solidarity with the Iraqi authorities, the Iraqi people who should restore peace and security in their country, but the actions of our Western partners raise a lot of questions,” Lavrov told reporters.

Source: Agencies

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