US Congressman Abraham Encourages the People of Northeast Syria
27 February 2020
US Congressman Ralph Abraham from Louisiana visited northeast Syria and was a great encouragement to the people here who feel betrayed, abandoned, and forgotten by the US. He listened with care, responded in love, and promised to do his best to help the people here.
On this mission he was a blessing everywhere he went. His humility, concern, deep questions and heartfelt responses earned him respect and the US reputation, which has been badly hurt, was helped.
He was asked things like:
- “Why did you abandon us?”
- “Why did you promise to help us and then let the Turks invade, kill and displace us?” “We did everything you asked, and we fought side-by-side against ISIS and over 11,000 of our soldiers died. Now over 200,000 civilians are displaced. Is that nothing? Do you not have respect for friendship, for honor?”
- “What kind of democracy are you?”
- “We cannot trust America anymore.”
These statements and many more were told to the Congressman with earnest conviction by the people here, from leaders of the Self-Administration Zone of Northeast Syria (NES), to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to soldiers (both men and women), and by the people displaced by the invasion. Congressman Abraham responded to each person with sincere sorrow for what happened to them and promised to tell their story and speak of all they have accomplished in creating a functioning, economically viable, and multi-ethnic, multi-religious democracy in northeast Syria.
In Raqqa he met with the co-chairs of the NES and the leaders of the Raqqa Civil Council. He toured the battle-scarred city that was once the capital of the ISIS caliphate and saw the progress being made and the relative peace there. He prayed with us at the Armenian church destroyed by ISIS that we are helping rebuild. He stayed the night with the SDF and met informally with rank and file soldiers. I could think of no better ambassador for America.
From Raqqa, we traveled to Tel Tamir and there Congressman Abraham helped us deliver food, baby formula, and diapers to families displaced by the Turkish-led invasion of October 2019.
“When we will be able to go home?” they asked.
After the beginning of the children’s program, he went to the front lines with the Syriac Military Force (MFS). The MFS is a Christian military unit that is part of the SDF and protects this historic Christian area. He drove by abandoned homes and churches on his way to the front and once there looked across open fields to the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) positions.
“We are shelled almost every night but by God’s help and each other we hold fast,” said Commander Aram of the SDF.
The front line is only four kilometers (less than three miles) from the town of Tel Tamir. After visiting the front line, the Congressman went to visit the Tel Tamir hospital that saved hundreds of lives during the invasion. Here, Dr. Hassan and his staff did their best to save our FBR cameraman and assistant medic, Zau Seng, who died of his wounds from a drone attack. We love them and are grateful for their help.
Congressman Abraham, who is also a medical doctor and veterinarian, connected right away who Dr. Hassan as they toured the hospital and greeted patients.
From Tel Tamir, we went to meet General Mazloum Abdi, the Commander of the SDF. This was an open and to-the-point meeting, with the General asking for an end of the Turkish-led invasion, help to return people to their homes, and protection for the town of Kobane which Turkey has threatened to invade. He also explained how the SDF-controlled area of northeast Syria is a refuge for families now fleeing Idlib and stated his willingness to help as many as could come.
Thank you all who pray for us and help the people here. Please pray for Congressman Abraham as he tries to help.
God bless you,
Dave, family and FBR
There was also a discussion of US policy in Syria and the need for clarity. The meeting was warm and friendly, and Congressman Abraham promised to pass on the General’s message and try to help. After the conclusion of the meeting, the Congressman departed northeast Syria. The next day, whenever we met anyone who had met him, they would give us a thumbs up. Many told us, “The Congressman is a very good man. We see he is not afraid, and I hope he can help. We have been hurt but we do want America here.”
As part of the meetings we were asked to contribute what we thought the US should do and this is what we have sent to the Congressman.