Kurdish, Greek, and Armenian Americans Call For U.S. Inquiry Into Turkish Airstrike

Victims of the Turkish airstrike

Community Groups ask Congressional Leaders to Press for Administration Investigation of the Use of U.S. Arms in Attack that Killed 35 Kurdish Boys and Young Men

WASHINGTON—Kurdish, Hellenic and Armenian American leaders joined together Tuesday in calling upon key Congressional leaders to demand that the Obama Administration investigate whether Turkey violated U.S. arms export laws by using American-supplied weaponry in a December 28, 2011, airstrike that killed 35 Kurdish boys and young men along the Turkey-Iraq border.

In a January 10 letter addressed to the bipartisan leaderships of the Congressional committee’s overseeing the State Department and Pentagon, the American Hellenic Institute, American Kurdish Information Network, Armenian National Committee of America, Kurdish Human Rights Watch, and Kurdish National Congress of North America called upon the eight chairpersons and ranking members of these panels to request that the Obama Administration officially investigate this potential violation of U.S. law.

In their joint letter, the signatories noted that: “press accounts, in the Associated Press, Economist, Boston Globe, Radio Free Europe, and elsewhere, have reported that this attack was conducted by U.S.-supplied F-16s, guided by aerial drone intelligence.” 

They stressed that:  “In light of these widely reported accounts indicating the possible use of U.S. arms – and in the context of both the horrendous human costs of this particular attack and the history of Turkey’s having long used its military arsenal against civilian populations – we call upon you to request that the Administration investigate this matter. We also ask that you request that the Administration submit an immediate public report to Congress on any potential violations of U.S. law in connection with these killings.”

The letter was addressed to John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations; Richard Lugar, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; John McCain, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Howard Berman, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Buck McKeon, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee; and Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee

The complete text of the letter is provided below.

Dear Senators Kerry, Lugar, Levin and McCain and Representatives
Ros-Lehtinen, Berman, McKeon and Smith:

We are writing to ask you – as the legislators with primary oversight responsibility for the Department of State and the Pentagon – to call upon the Obama Administration to investigate and publicly report to Congress regarding Turkey’s compliance with the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 and other relevant U.S. laws, in regard to the December 28, 2011 Turkish airstrike that killed as many as 35 innocent Kurdish boys and young men along Turkey’s border with the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq.

As you have likely seen, press accounts, in the Associated Press, Economist, Boston Globe, Radio Free Europe, and elsewhere, have reported that this attack was conducted by U.S.-supplied F-16s, guided by aerial drone intelligence.  In light of these widely reported accounts indicating the possible use of U.S. arms – and in the context of both the horrendous human costs of this particular attack and the history of Turkey’s having long used its military arsenal against civilian populations – we call upon you to request that the Administration investigate this matter. We also ask that you request that the Administration submit an immediate public report to Congress on any potential violations of U.S. law in connection with these killings.

Thank you for your leadership on human rights and for all your service in government promoting U.S. interests and advancing American values in the international arena.

Sincerely,

Nick Larigakis
President
American Hellenic Institute

Kani Xulam
Executive Director
American Kurdish Information Network

Aram Hamparian
Executive Director
Armenian National Committee of America

Dr. Pary Karadaghi
President
Kurdish Human Rights Watch

Dr. Kamal Artin
President
Kurdish National Congress of North America

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13 Comments

  1. Alex Postallian said:

    The corrupt Congress will only blink,lip service,unless you put more in their back pockets than the goobles,goobles(turks)

    • Alex Postallian said:

      They must unite,through unification,they have the power to fight the BEAST OF THE EAST (gobble,gooble),and to the turkopiles in this country,will be out of power or the general public will finally be aware of their false agenda.

  2. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Ottoman’s can vanish the Earth…
    They did before …
    They will revenge and do more…
    Not the others
    As illiterate politicians guess…

    It is unfair
    We know them well
    Before America was born
    They invaded our highlands
    A millennium before
    America can not teach
    We tasted their scimitars…
    I hope they will never taste

    We are still alive
    Because our faith in our selves
    That we are honest humans
    Not scavengers like them…

    • Alex Postallian said:

      The turks will vanish,No.They are like an incurable disease on universe.It is easier to banish their paid stooges,grovelling,for their filthy lucre,to deny human suffering in politics and biased media.

  3. Turkcekonusanamerikali said:

    Israel should dump the Azeris and form a partnership with Armenia and the Kurds just as it has done with Cyprus and Greece. These groups are Israel’s natural allies, not another bunch of Turks.

  4. Sedat said:

    This article and the reported calls for an investigation should happen, as long as every incident of ‘friendly fire’ deaths, or ‘mistakes’ made by every country in every conflicts also investigated. Oh what,… no that’s not possible. Of course according to our friends the PKK terrorist and their supports such as the Greek military and the Armenia government who trained and armed these Terrorists, killing unarmed Turkish people, bombing schools and buses is fine as long as its Turkish blood that is spilled, its that right….

  5. Steven Kocay said:

    Now Armenians try to use Kurdish people against Turkey and they call it union,, hahaha! Without knowing any dynamics writing such an article is nothing but fun.

  6. John Minassian said:

    The Turkish government killed off the majority of Armenians and how they are ethnically cleansing the Kurds. The same policies are being practiced .The Turkish government has the same barbaric mentalilty that it had in 1915.I truely hope for a free Turkish Kurdistan.

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