Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA) spoke to Alhurra Television about the crisis facing Iraq and Syria during an interview on the Al Youm program. During the interview he discussed his concerns that the fighting in Iraq and Syria could spread to neighboring countries and become a regional conflict.
When asked about what the U.S. can do in the region to limit the spread of violence, Connolly remarked, “I don’t see a lot of good options for the United States right now in either Iraq or Syria, and I think the outcomes in both are not particularly promising. So how we move forward and what leverage we have as a power in the region remains to be seen.” He went on to say that he is not hopeful.
Connolly also remarked that the options for the U.S. in Syria are “very limited.” With so many different groups that make up the opposition, from secular to very fundamentalist groups, “separating one from the other is very difficult.”
Regarding Iraq, Connolly stated that the current crisis resulted from Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki’s decision not to accept the U.S.’s offer to help. He also cited Prime Minister Maliki’s decision not to have an inclusive government. Of which, he said, “the consequences have quite manifest for everyone to see.”