Nashville, TN – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) gave the following statement on the news that Turkey has launched an offensive military operation in northern Syria:
“For years, American forces, including Tennessee’s own elite 5th Group out of Fort Campbell, have stood alongside our Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Global Coalition partners to provide safety and security to Syria. Each time the possibility of American withdrawal from the region has been presented, I have called for a second look at the impacts of such a decision.
“An American presence in northern Syria preserves the possibility for an enduring defeat of ISIS, while a premature withdrawal of U.S. forces puts at risk the gains achieved by the Global Coalition – and even cedes critical geopolitical space to Russia and Iran.
“Just as important is the safety and security of the SDF, the Kurdish forces who were integral to the defeat of the so-called ISIS physical caliphate. I condemn in the strongest possible terms any U.S. policy that will result in endangerment of the Kurds who have sacrificed so much blood and treasure alongside American forces. The U.S. does not abandon or endanger partners who have made significant sacrifices and contributions to protect our national security interests. The Turkish offensive into northern Syria is damaging and in direct opposition to the international rules-based order.
“Today, I join a bipartisan group of Senators in calling for sanctions. Turkey must pay the price for its aggression toward our Kurdish partners.”
On Monday, Senator Blackburn joined Fox News to discuss her opposition to the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
On January 31st, 2019, Senators Blackburn and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) requested that President Donald Trump “develop and implement a strategy to help protect the security and diplomatic equities of our Kurdish partners serving in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) during and after the withdrawal of United States military forces from Syria.” The full letter may be found here.
Senator Blackburn included a provision in the Senate-passed 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to support the U.S. partnership with the Kurds in Syria.
The largest Kurdish diaspora in the United States is in Nashville, Tennessee.