ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – In a press release on Wednesday, Republican Congressman Trent Franks urged the United States government to defend the Kurdistan Region from neighbors' threats in the aftermath of the independence vote.
Following the Region’s Sep. 25 referendum on independence, neighbors Turkey, Iran and the central government in Baghdad, threatened Kurdistan with sanctions and military actions.
On Sep. 29, days after the historic vote, Baghdad imposed a flight ban on Kurdistan and even threatened to use military force if the results of the referendum were not nullified.
In his press release, Franks urged the international community not “to turn a blind eye to the noble Kurdish people as they are beset with blockades, embargos, and possible military interventions.”
“We in the United States must lead the free world and defend legitimate nations beset by existential threats to their self-determination,” the statement continued.
The Republican from Arizona condemned the bullying by Baghdad and other countries in the region against the Kurds, whom he referred to as the US ally.
“I will do everything in my power to ensure this bullying will not go unanswered,” Franks vowed.
On Sep. 25, following the Kurdistan plebiscite, the Congressman introduced a resolution in the US House of Representatives supporting an independent Kurdish state.
“The people of the Kurdistan Region have the right to determine their status as a sovereign country,” the bill, House Resolution 534, affirms.
Franks is a long-time supporter of the Kurdish people and has previously sought to have the US provide arms directly to the Peshmerga forces to fight the Islamic State (IS).
In July, the Congressman spoke with Kurdistan 24 and explained why he supported the independence referendum.
“I have supported the Kurds for so long because they have supported the cause of human freedom,” he said.
Editing by Ava Homa