United States Representative Jason Crow has introduced a new bill to the congress, named the Syrian Partner Protection Act in a bid to extend the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) to Syrian Kurdish partners and their families that helped the US in their mission against ISIS in Syria.
Crow, who is an American lawyer, veteran, and politician, as well as a member of the United States House of Representatives for Colorado’s 6th congressional district, introduced the bill at a time when the Trump administration is facing harsh criticism for withdrawing troops from Syria, thus abandoning the Syrian Democratic Forces.
“This bill is about the promise we made to our partners, in this case, the men and women of the Syrian Democratic Forces, who have been our primary ally on the ground in the fight against ISIS,” Representative Crow says, adding that as a combat veteran he knows best that the foundation of alliances are built on trust.
Crow’s bill received bipartisan support after recently the congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution opposing Trump’s withdrawal and a bill that would impose sanctions on Turkey for their offensive in Syria.
Republican Michael Waltz , who is also a US Army officer, was a lead co-sponsor of the bill. Waltz showed support for the bill, reminding congresspersons that the Syrian Kurds had stood side by side with the United States in the fight against ISIS.
“As a special forces officer, working with allies and fostering those relationships was critical to mission success. Our Kurdish allies put their lives and the lives of their families on the line, risking retaliation, to help us fight terrorism. They deserve our country’s gratitude,” Waltz says.
U.S. Representative for Massachusetts’s 6th congressional district Seth Moulton also supported the bill, saying that Syrian Kurds that saved American lives and risked their own deserve America’s gratitude and not “abandonment by the commander in chief. “
“They deserve our country’s gratitude, not to be abandoned by our commander in chief. This bill is about showing that the American people have the backs of the people who keep us safe, and reassuring our allies that cooperating with Americans on the ground isn’t a death sentence,” he said.
The bill comes after Trump announced early in October that he had decided to US troops from northern Syria after a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Days later, the Turkish troops started an offensive against the Kurds, which offensive according to the United Nations has displaced at least 180,000 people so far.
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