WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) - Three US Congressmen, with whom Kurdistan 24 spoke last week, all affirmed the need for the US to continue its support for the Kurds.
Hakeem Jeffries (D, New York) is a senior figure in the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives and chairs its Democratic Caucus. He explained to Kurdistan 24 the need for the US to sustain the close ties with the Kurds that it has developed over the past years, and, particularly, since the common fight against the Islamic State.
“It’s important for America to continue to maintain a strong and close relationship with the Kurdish people,” Jeffries said. “We fought together. We died together.”
“America appreciates the sacrifices that the Kurds have made in our shared effort to defeat ISIS,” he continued, “and we need to ensure that there’s a place for the Kurds to live in peace and prosperity moving into the future, and that’s certainly my commitment.”
Steve Chabot (R., Ohio) currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is a member of its Middle East Subcommittee, which he earlier chaired (the full title of the subcommittee is, somewhat tellingly, “Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism.”)
The Kurds “were great allies to the United States,” Chabot told Kurdistan 24. “They did a lot of the heavy lifting,” and “a lot of Kurds were killed in the battles against ISIS.”
“We need to makes sure that we’re there for them,” Chabot added, because “they were there for us,” and “the United States needs to make sure that the Kurdish people are not threatened by any other country or any other entity.”
Steve Watkins (R, Kansas) is another Republican who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and on its Middle East subcommittee as well.
Watkins is a US Army veteran, and as he told Kurdistan 24, “I’ve spent many years all over Iraq—in Baghdad and in the Kurdish region”—where he worked in Erbil for some time.
“The Kurdish-US relationship is a very, very important one,” Watkins affirmed. “I really have a lot of respect for the Kurdish people whom I’ve worked with over the years,” he continued. “I’ve been kept safe by Kurdish police and military forces before, and I’d like to think vice-versa.”
Stephen Mansfield, author of The Miracle of the Kurds, who often speaks with Congressmen about Kurdish concerns, recently told Kurdistan 24, “One of the wonderful things about the Kurdish cause here in the US is that it’s a bipartisan cause.”
The interviews above certainly demonstrate that point.
Editing by Nadia Riva