Letter: Will we desert the Kurds now?


To the Editor:

The Kurds defeated ISIS with our help. We armed them, supplied them and supported them with air and artillery support. When the Iraqi military was struggling to find its butts, we got the Kurds to go past their tribal boundaries in Iraq and continue chasing ISIS into Syria. The Kurds are the only people in the area we can trust.

Yes, the Kurds would like to have their own country, which would span western Turkey, northern Iraq and eastern Iran. They have a semi-autonomous area in Iraq – which we designated as a no-fly zone against Saddam Hussein – and are supported by large oilfields, from which Iraq allows them to keep some of the revenue. An oil pipeline extends through Turkey to an oil port. Turkey's closing of that pipeline would damage the Kurdish economy.

Turkey has been periodically trying to subdue Kurds, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blaming the ills he caused on Turkey's Kurds. He now is attacking the Kurds in Syria with Russian air support. As of today, the first Kurdish enclave almost is defeated. Since they lived there with their families, all either were killed or pushed out of their homes, farther into war-torn Syria. Erdogan has said they will go after the ones we were advising and supporting. President Donald Trump has just ordered our troops out of the area, leaving the Kurds without air support and defenses against the Turkish and Russian bombing.

During Desert Storm, the first Iraq War, we received intelligence help and more from the swamp people living in their ancestral homeland in the Tigris and Euphrates River deltas. After the war, we allowed Hussein to kill thousands and destroy their wetlands.

Are the Kurds going to be left to die like the swamp people after we promised to protect them? What does it say about America's word of support?

Chuck Johnson