Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) issued the following statement on the Al-Qaeda splinter group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seizing control of the Iraqi city of Mosul today:
“Our worst fears about Iraq are being realized today. The black flags of Al-Qaeda are flying over Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, just as they do over Fallujah. Al-Qaeda affiliated militants are now pressing their offensive into other parts of western Iraq and possibly beyond. This growing threat to our national security interests is the cost of President Obama’s decision to withdraw all of our troops from Iraq in 2011, against the advice of our commanders and regardless of conditions on the ground.
“Unfortunately, the President is now making the same disastrous mistake in Afghanistan, increasing the risk that Al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies will return there just as they are in Iraq. It is not too late for the president to reverse this catastrophic decision and instead make any withdrawal of U.S. forces after this year contingent on conditions on the ground. At the same time, we call on the president to explain to Congress and the American people how he plans to address the growing threat to our homeland and our national security interests posed by the rapidly expanding Al-Qaeda safe haven in Iraq and Syria.”