ERBIL — Two US senators have submitted a resolution to the Congress commemorating Operation Provide Comfort and reiterating the partnership between the US and Kurdistan Region.
Senators Chris Van Hollen and Marco Rubio highlighted the longstanding relations between Erbil and Washington and the Kurds’ commitment to stand with the US in opposing extremism and terrorism.
It also shed light on the suffering of Kurds at the hands of the Baath regime before the Operation Provide Comfort in 1991, when they lost hundreds of thousand of men, women, and children while a vast number of Kurdish villages were demolished by the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
“At one point in the early days of the 1991 refugee crisis, the daily death toll of fleeing Iraqi Kurds exceeded 1,000, with victims having no time to gather any possessions or winter protective gear and thus succumbing to exposure, malnutrition, and disease,” reads the resolution.
“The United States, in response to the unfolding human catastrophe, led what became the largest humanitarian operation of its kind ever, Operation Provide Comfort, delivering humanitarian relief and enforcing a no-fly zone,” it added.
If resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), the Congress will be committed to the following proposals:
(1) commemorates the 30th anniversary of Operation Provide Comfort;
(2) recognizes and honors the heroic soldiers, diplomats, political leaders, and coalition partners of the United States who implemented Operation Provide Comfort;
(3) recognizes and honors the bravery of the nearly 2,000,000 Iraqi Kurdish women, children, and men who struggled to survive starvation and exposure, welcomed the aid that came, and embraced the opportunity for a new life;
(4) encourages Iraqi Kurdish leaders to continue to uphold the values of democracy, human rights, and freedom that have made Iraqi Kurdistan an oasis in a troubled region; and
(A) the strong partnership between the United States and the Iraqi Kurds, which exists in complementarity with the United States’ strong partnership with the Government of Iraq; and
(B) the enduring respect and support of Congress for Iraqi Kurdish friends of the United States who courageously stand with the United States in shared opposition to extremism and terrorism.