ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – American Christian evangelist and missionary Franklin Graham called on the United States' government to support the people of the Kurdistan Region in their quest for independence in a recent Facebook post.
“The Kurdish people have suffered so much throughout history, and this time America can do something about it,” he wrote on Thursday.
“I hope the United States government will support all people who seek freedom and democracy,” Graham continued.
On his Facebook page, Graham pointed to the Kurds’ commitment to democracy, highlighting the sacrifices they have made in the ongoing war with the Islamic State (IS).
“[The Kurds] have been America’s number one ally in the fight against [IS] in that region,” he wrote. “They have lost more than 1,000 of their soldiers, and 10,000 have been wounded fighting [IS].”
Graham called on the US government to get behind the Kurdish referendum where people of the Kurdistan Region “voted overwhelmingly for their leaders to begin peaceful negotiations with Baghdad for independence.”
Following the historic vote on Sep. 25, the Federal Government of Iraq imposed several sanctions on the Kurdistan Region, including a flight ban and threats of military action.
Graham noted the embargo on the Region would create “a potential humanitarian crisis,” and would affect humanitarian agencies who are helping tens of thousands of refugees “seeking safety and protection by the Kurds.”
The Christian leader is close to US President Donald Trump and supported him during the presidential campaign.
Graham is a frequent visitor to Kurdistan where Samaritan’s Purse, the charity which he leads, has been working to aid those who have fallen victim to Iraq’s sectarian violence.
Earlier this year, while visiting the Kurdistan Region to dedicate a field hospital in January, Graham spoke with Kurdistan 24. “The people of Kurdistan are wonderful,” he said.
“They are resilient and hardworking people, and they had to fight for their freedom,” he added.
Editing by G.H. Renaud