Kerry: U.S. not responsible for crisis in Iraq today
Kerry called on Iraqis to rise above sectarianism Sunday (Brendan Smialowski/AFP)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters Sunday that Washington is not responsible for the current crisis in Iraq, according to Agence France Presse.
During a surprise visit to Cairo to meet with Egypt's new president, former military chief Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, Kerry told reporters, "The United States of America is not responsible for what happened in Libya, nor is it responsible for what is happening in Iraq today."
"The United States shed blood and worked hard for years for the Iraqis to have their own governance... but [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] ISIL crossed the line from Syria, began plotting internally. They have attacked communities and they are the ones marching through to disrupt the ability of Iraq to have the governance it wants," he added.
Kerry's commentary comes in response to growing violence in Iraq under the current Sunni jihadist insurgency that is sweeping the country.
The extremist Sunni militant group ISIL has taken over parts of Iraq's northern territories as well as the city of Mosul; the group also managed to take over control of the country's main oil refinery within days last week, but security forces claim they have regained control of the facility.
With many international actors, particularly Iran, saying that the U.S. sparked the current sectarian tension in Iraq as a result of the 2003 invasion aftermath, Kerry called on Iraqis to "rise above sectarian considerations...and speak to all people" in order to fight the growing jihadist threat.
Kerry later added that the "U.S. is not engaged in picking or choosing any one individual... it's up to the people of Iraq to choose their own leadership."
Kerry has been in Cairo to discuss both Egypt and regional-related issues with Sisi, with the Iraq situation considered of central importance.
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