FOLLOWING TRUMP ABANDONMENT, SEN. WARNER INTRODUCES LEGISLATION PROVIDING VISAS TO KURDS WHO WORKED WITH U.S. FORCES IN SYRIA

 Intelligence Committee Vice Chair says "America has always stood by her
allies"; since Turkish offensive began, there have been reports of
executions and human rights abuses against Kurdish fighters ~



WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, Vice Chairman of the Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence, today introduced the Syrian Allies Protection
Act<https://www.scribd.com/document/430793774/Syrian-Allies-Protection-Act>,
which would make U.S. visas available to Kurdish Syrians who worked
directly with the U.S. armed forces in Syria and whose lives may now be in
danger after President Trump abruptly withdrew American troops from
northern Syria and allowed a Turkish military operation to move forward
against Kurdish fighters who have been integral partners in the fight
against ISIS. Since the Turkish offensive began last week, the UN has
received reports<https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/10/1049241> of
executions and human rights abuses against Kurdish fighters and civilians,
and at least 160,000 civilians have been displaced.



"America has always stood by her allies. It's shameful that as a result of
President Trump's reckless actions in Syria, the lives of our Kurdish
allies are now in danger," said Sen. Warner. "Our friends should not pay
the price for the President's irresponsible decision. This bill would
establish a program, like those Congress has already established for Iraqi
and Afghan nationals, that would allow Kurdish Syrians who worked directly
with American troops in the fight against ISIS to come to safety here in
the U.S."



Similar to congressionally-directed programs that made select Iraqi and
Afghan nationals who worked as interpreters or in other vital military
support positions eligible for special immigrant visas, the Syrian Allies
Protection Act would protect those Kurds in Syria who worked most closely
with the United States, usually as translators, and whose lives are now
threatened not only by the ongoing Turkish incursion, but by potential
retaliation by freed ISIS fighters, regime forces, and other foreign
interests in Syria now that the protection of American forces has been
removed. The legislation would provide permanent American residence to
Syrian nationals who worked for the U.S. armed forces for at least six
months, have obtained a favorable recommendation from a general or flag
officer in the chain of command, and have passed a background check and
screening.



The legislation would also direct the Secretary of Defense, in
consultation with the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, to
develop and implement a framework to evacuate these eligible individuals
to safety  - either in the United States or a third country - while
vetting takes place, if their lives are at risk remaining in Syria.



The text of the Syrian Allies Protection Act is available
here<https://www.scribd.com/document/430793774/Syrian-Allies-Protection-Act>.