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The Interview

'IS group is not most important threat to Iraq'

Former US ambassador to Iraq and Syria Ryan Crocker talked to FRANCE 24’s Marc Perelman about the situation in Iraq and the rise of the militant Islamic State group.

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"The fundamental issues in Iraq are not the threat of Daesh (the Islamic State group). The most important threat to Iraq is the absence of political reconciliation", the former US ambassador told FRANCE 24.

"There is clearly a drift towards division in Iraq. People speak of a Jihadistan in the areas where Daesh is present, they talk about Kurdistan and they talk about a Shiistan. Those are not yet facts but they could become facts if this course of events is not shifted. So now is the time", Crocker said. The former US diplomat added that he would like to see President Obama and Secretary Kerry "much more involved in Iraq".

Crocker concedes that the US "didn’t do very well in Iraq on either account: we weren’t careful getting in, we weren’t careful getting out. And what we look at today is the result, I think, of an ill-considered precipitated departure, again not militarily so much as politically. Now there is an opportunity for us to re-engage, and I hope very much we do that".

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