DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Committee on Foreign Affairs
Sent By:
Raven.Bellamy@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Dear Colleague, 

Please join us in cosponsoring our joint bipartisan resolution opposing Turkey’s military incursions into Northeastern Syria and expressing support for our Syrian Kurdish partners.
This resolution adds one additional resolved clause to the language in H. Res. 625.

On Monday October 6, 2019, President Trump announced his decision to withdraw U.S. military forces from the security coordination zone along the Syrian – Turkish border. This decision followed an October 6 phone call between President Trump and Turkish President
Erdogan in which President Erdogan indicated Turkish intentions to conduct unilateral military operations beyond the coordination zone.

Already, we have seen Turkish military units attack Syrian Kurdish communities and force Syrian Democratic Forces to divert critical personnel and resources from counter-ISIS operations. The situation unfolding is unacceptable. Turkey must immediately end its
military operation, which has already resulted in civilian casualties. 

The Turkish operation will create conditions for ISIS to reassert themselves in the region, while at the same time emboldening Putin, Assad, and Iran.  We are particularly concerned with security at the facilities holding ISIS detainees and women and children
who have been reported to have ties to ISIS. If these facilities are left unguarded, it would greatly aid ISIS’ resurgence and could threaten the United States and our allies.

This joint bipartisan resolution: expresses strong support for Syrian Kurdish forces; recognizes their commitment and sacrifices in the fight against ISIS; calls on Turkey to immediately cease military action in Northeast Syria; and calls on the U.S. to stand
with Syrian Kurdish communities impacted by violence.

We hope you will join us in sending this important message to the Administration and the world.

If you would like to cosponsor the resolution, please email Cosponsor.HCFA@mail.house.gov. For questions, please contact Peter Billerbeck (Peter.Billerbeck@mail.house.gov) or Gabriella Zach (Gabriella.Zach@mail.house.gov).

Sincerely, 

 

ELIOT L. ENGEL
Chairman
House Committee on Foreign Affairs 

 

MICHAEL T. McCAUL
Ranking Member
House Committee on Foreign Affairs

 

Full Text of H.J. Res. 77:

Opposing the decision to end certain US efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria;

Whereas thousands of Syrian fighters, including Syrian Kurds, fought courageously with the United States against the brutality of ISIS throughout Syria, liberating nearly one third of Syrian territory from ISIS’ so-called “caliphate.”;

Whereas on October 6, 2019, the White House announced, “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria” while the “United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation,
and United States forces…will no longer be in the immediate area.”;

Whereas on October 6, 2019, the White House announced “Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years”;

Whereas an October 10, 2019 White House statement said, “This morning, Turkey, a NATO member, invaded Syria. The United States does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea.”

Whereas Turkey has historically threatened, forcibly displaced, and killed Syrian Kurds, including during military operations in the Afrin District;

Whereas on August 1, 2019, Special Envoy James Jeffrey stated in reference to the Syrian Kurds and Syrian Democratic Forces, “We are committed to defeating ISIS in northeast Syria. The SDF…is our partner there. We are committed
to those who have fought with us not being attacked and not being harmed by anyone. The President made that clear publicly. That includes our concerns about the Turks.”;

Whereas in January 2019, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats stated in Congressional testimony that “The conflicts in Iraq and Syria have generated a large pool of skilled and battle-hardened fighters who remain dispersed
throughout the region” …and “the group has returned to its guerilla-warfare roots while continuing to plot attacks and direct its supporters worldwide. ISIS is intent on resurging.”;

Whereas during the counter-ISIS campaign in Syria, the (SDF) captured thousands of ISIS fighters, including foreign terrorist fighters from around the world who pose threats to the United States and our allies in the region;

Whereas in addition to ISIS fighters in detention, approximately 70,000 women and children are currently held at the Al-Hol internally displaced persons camp and other camps in northeast Syria;

Whereas the Lead Inspector General for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve stated in August 2019, ISIS is already “seeking to establish safe haven in al-Hol” aiming to recruit individuals who are “susceptible to
ISIS messaging, coercion, and enticement.”;

Whereas the SDF has warned the United States and international community that a Turkish incursion into Northeast Syria would significantly decrease the SDF’s ability to combat ISIS and to continue providing security and management
for ISIS detainees and their family members;

Whereas on October 6, 2019, President Trump conducted a call with President Erdogan in which, according to the official White House press release, they discussed the upcoming Turkish incursion.  Soon after this call, the White
House press release announced the withdrawal of the United States military from the immediate area, which was completed within hours,

Whereas an abrupt withdrawal of U.S. military personnel from certain parts of Northeast Syria is beneficial to adversaries of the United States government, including Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Russia:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

                         

(1) Opposes the decision to end certain US efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria;

(2) calls on Turkish President Erdogan to immediately cease unilateral military action in Northeast Syria and to respect existing agreements relating to Syria;

(3) calls on the United States to continue supporting Syrian Kurdish communities through humanitarian support, including to those displaced or otherwise affected by ongoing violence in Syria;

(4) calls on the United States to work to ensure that the Turkish military acts with restraint and respects existing agreements relating to Syria; and

(5)  calls on the White House to present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS.

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