Duckworth and Blackburn Press Trump to Protect Kurdish Partners in Syria, Not Abandon Them
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) wrote to President Trump today pressing him to develop a comprehensive plan to protect our Kurdish partners serving in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and prevent armed conflict between Kurdish forces and the Republic of Turkey. With the U.S. preparing to withdraw its military forces from Syria, the Senators warned Trump about the dangers Kurdish forces – who fought alongside the U.S. against ISIS – now face. They urged his administration to use every diplomatic tool to encourage Turkey to fulfill its obligation as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “ to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means” and “to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force” against the Kurds. Since President Trump’s hasty announcement that our military will withdraw from Syria, there has been an outcry over the fate of our Kurdish partners and the message it would send about our global commitments to protecting our allies and preventing them from being slaughtered.
“Defending allies and partners is in our national interest. ISIS threatens global stability and nation-states throughout the world,” the Senators wrote in a bipartisan letter. “If the United States is to avoid endless deployments of ground forces throughout the world, we must continually cultivate reliable partners in the region who are willing – and able – to effectively take the fight to our common enemy on the ground. Abandoning friends and doing nothing to prevent their slaughter would undermine the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and jeopardize our nation’s honor.”
Duckworth and Blackburn serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) which has jurisdiction over the nation’s common defense, military operations, servicemember pay and retirement, military family benefits and the selective service system. SASC also oversees the Department of Defense, the United States Armed Services and several other national security-related issues at home and abroad. Duckworth has been outspoken about the critical importance of defending our Kurdish partners, who are some of our most effective and reliable allies in the region, serving alongside our military and answering our calls for assistance. Blackburn represents the city of Nashville, which is home to more Kurdish-Americans than any other city in the United States.
The full text of the letter is available here.
Next Article Previous Article