Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer has urged President Donald Trump and his administration to back an independent Kurdish state
A majority of Iraqi Kurds voted for cutting ties with Baghdad in a referendum on Monday. The vote has been deemed illegal and unconstitutional by Baghdad. The Iraqi parliament unanimously adopted a resolution demanding that the Prime Minister re-deploy forces in all areas disputed with Kurdistan including the oil region, Kirkuk.
Schumer said “The US should stand for self-determination for our strongest partners” in reference to Kurdish participation in the US-led campaign against ISIS.
“The Kurds are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Middle East without a homeland and they have fought long and hard for one,” the leader of the Senate Democrats pointed out.
“Despite this, the Kurds continue to get a raw deal and are told to wait for tomorrow, which is why it’s past due that the world, led by the United States, immediately back a political process to address the aspirations of the Kurds,” Schumer added.
According to Kurdish High Elections and Referendum Commission, over 92 percent of those who took part in the vote opted in favor of independence from Iraq. Local television reported that around 3.45 million ballots were cast.
The vote has been deemed illegal and “unconstitutional” by Baghdad, with Iraqi lawmakers asking the government to send troops into the Kurdish areas.
Neighboring Turkey, Iran, and Syria are also opposed to the creation of an independent Kurdistan over concerns that it may spur separatist sentiment in their own Kurdish-populated areas. In the region, only Israel endorsed both the referendum and the establishment of a Kurdish state.
Israel has so far been the first, and only, country to openly voice support for “the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own,” as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week, without specifying where and how. His comments followed remarks made earlier in the month by former general Yair Golan, who said he liked the “idea of independent Kurdistan.”