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Congressman Matt Gaetz

Representing the 1st District of Florida

CONGRESSMAN GAETZ ISSUES STATEMENT ON MOSUL

July 10, 2017
Press Release
ISIS has been driven from Mosul.

ISIS has been driven from Mosul. This is a massive, long-awaited victory in the fight against ISIS.

Mosul is Iraq’s second-largest city, a city that has stood for thousands of years. Mosul was once home to thousands of Assyrian Christians, but much of the Christian population has been savagely butchered by ISIS. The Islamic State is a vicious, genocidal group, and must be eradicated.

Mosul’s recapture by Iraqi security forces deals a crushing blow to the Islamic State. I commend President Trump for following through on some of his key campaign promises — to fight Islamic terrorism, and to work tirelessly to destroy ISIS.
As we continue to destroy the Islamic State, it is important to evaluate our long-term foreign policy toward Iraq and Syria. We must ensure that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Security Forces are the sole legitimate institutions of stability for Iraq’s future. This requires awareness and the resolve to deal with Iran’s growing presence. Iranian-backed militias and Iranian terror proxies such as Hezbollah and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are powerful forces and are continuing to gain strength. These groups are a threat to Iraq’s stability, and are a threat to US interests in the region.

We must continue to support the Iraqi government as they fight to eradicate ISIS, while ensuring that our support and military assistance does not benefit Iran and Iranian backed groups such as Hezbollah and the PMF. Iran remains the primary destabilizing force in the Middle East, and poses a dire threat to the interests of the US and our allies. The recapture of Mosul is cause for celebration, but, for the sake of long-term regional stability, we must stay vigilant and continue to work with our allies to roll back Iranian influence.