Tags: America's Forum | Iran | Iraq | violence | escalates

Mideast Expert: If US Doesn't Help Iraq, Iran Could Step In

Thursday, 12 Jun 2014 02:58 PM

By Courtney Coren


If the United States doesn't help Iraq with air strikes as violence has escalated there, the Iraqis may turn to Iran for help, which could be a "real disaster" for the the Middle East, says Middle East expert Dr. Walid Phares. 

"My fear would be that the Iraqi government would first ask for American air strikes, and you know what kind of chaos this is going to create in Washington," Phares told J.D. Hayworth and Morgan Thompson on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV. 

"But, the most critical thing would be is that the Iraqis may well demand Iranian intervention to stop what's happening and then we're talking about a real disaster in the region," he explained.

The Middle East expert says that at the same time "we may do some strikes, but that is not the answer."

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The other "real concern is that there are no forces now on the ground" to combat "the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria from seizing more and consolidating," Phares explained.

This he says is "the result of the way we rushed out of Iraq instead of leaving behind us a solid coalition of moderates both in the Sunni and Shiite and Kurdish areas. What we have now is al-Qaida in the center and we have a pro-Iranian government in the south," he added.

The other problem, accorded to Phares, is that the Obama Administration did not develop "long-term strategic plans against the jihadists."

President Barack Obama pulled troops out of Iraq "as fast as possible" essentially because it was an election promise, "instead of taking the time with the Iraqis to" make sure that they were prepared in terms of troops before the United States pulled out in 2011, the Middle East expert explained.

"And this is the result," he added.

However, he does not think that the jihadists will be able "to seize Baghdad," even though jihadists seized a town only 56 miles away.

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