Mary Glindon MP: My call for solidarity with our allies in Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraqi Kurdistan has been one of the brightest spots in the Middle East for many years. The autonomous region was essentially created by justified British military action in 1991.

Sir John Major pioneered a no-fly zone that protected the Kurds from further genocide at the hands of Saddam Hussein.

Iraqi Kurdistan is a major friend of the UK thanks to this and because many of its leaders spent their youth in exile here.

It has been a firm ally in promoting peaceful and pluralistic politics. It is proud to be a home to Muslims, Christians and others. It was and is a key part of the coalition to defeat the Isis death cult, which killed people on our streets.

I have met many Kurds in meetings organised by the all-party parliamentary group.

Its capital, Erbil has been a largely safe and stable place for many years. Sadly, however, Iran decided this week to target the capital with missiles.

They were cruelly aimed at the home of a prominent businessman and killed him and his ten month old daughter.

It was a shocking and vile act, which has been widely condemned. I raised the issue in the Commons. I urged a debate on how the Government can best assist our allies and support Iraq’s formal complaint at the United Nations about Iranian aggression.

I also asked the Commons Leader to prompt the Foreign Secretary to meet the Kurdish Prime Minister in Davos. That meeting took place about an hour later though I’m not claiming as a result.

The Commons Leader thanked me for shining a spotlight on that particularly brutal attack which, she said, is highly consistent with the Iranian regime’s standard operating procedure in many places around the world.

Events abroad rarely stay abroad. Iran’s actions will continue unless exposed and checked.

This article originally appeared in the Northumberland Gazette

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