After a classified Armed Services Committee briefing Thursday, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern, South and Central Asian Affairs, issued the following statement on the situation in Iraq:
“The security situation in Iraq is extremely troubling, but not surprising. The war in Syria is exacerbating the situation in Iraq and has allowed the Al Qaeda off-shoot, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), to grow uncontrolled. That is why I have been such a vocal proponent of ending the humanitarian crisis in Syria and changing the balance of power on the ground to force a resolution.
“In Iraq, hopefully this is a wake-up call for Prime Minister Maliki who has practiced exclusive politics, contrary to U.S. counsel. He needs to engage immediately in a multi-pronged approach to address the ISIL threat, which includes a commitment to political inclusion, targeted security operations against ISIL targets, and a pledge to protect all Iraqi citizens. The United States should work with allies and regional partners to provide appropriate support once there is a commitment from Maliki to this set of principles.
“I strongly recommend the Administration develop those proposals and consult with Congress in short order.”