MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that the spectacular seizure of Iraqi cities by advancing fighters was a clear sign of the “total failure” of the US-led invasion.
“The events in Iraq illustrate the total failure of the adventure involving the United States and Britain,” Russian news agencies quoted Lavrov as saying, referring to the 2003 invasion that led to the toppling of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
“The unity of Iraq is at risk.”
“We are very worried by what is happening in Iraq. We warned long ago that the adventure undertaken by the Americans and the British would not end well.”
“We stand in solidarity with the Iraqi leadership, the Iraqi people who should restore peace and security in their country but actions of our Western partners cause a huge amount of questions.”
The United States said it “stands ready” to help Iraq, while Britain said it would not be sending troops back to the war-ravaged country.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Wednesday that the insurgency proved the civil war in Syria was “infecting” the region.
Lavrov said Hague’s comments were the height of cynicism. “We’ve known that our British colleagues possess a unique ability to distort anything and everything but even I had not expected such cynicism from them,” he told reporters. Lavrov separately discussed Iraq with his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Meanwhile, Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said: “Now, in the middle of the Middle East, we have a big, gaping hole where the Iraqi-Syrian border has broken down. It’s a threat to the regional security architecture, the boundaries of the region we’re invested in, and a threat to a lot of the assets we’ve built up inside Iraq.”
Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the second-ranking House Democrat, said Thursday: “The US should determine how it can effectively help in stabilizing the present situation because we spent a lot of very precious lives to try to stabilize Iraq, give them the opportunity for democracy,”.