Senator McCain: Iraq Pullout Risks Turkey

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Context

The US troop withdrawal from Iraq at the end of this year will increase security threats for Iraq’s neighbor. US Senator John McCain warned the Iraq pullout would increases risks to Turkey. It would also allow Iran to increase its influence in the region. Senator McCain expressed his discontentment with the US government’s strategy; “I am opposed to the withdrawal. This situation will increase the influence of Iran in the region and all the gains would be compromised,” he said.

The senator argued that Washington should take up the opportunity to stay back in Iraq. He also raised concern about PKK activity in the region, and suggested Iran was “supporting the PKK to disturb the balances of the Kurdish-populated regions in Turkey and other countries.”

The US announced last month that 40,000 US troops would leave Iraq by the end of this year. Negotiations went moot after the two countries disagreed on the question of immunity for American troops.

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