Why the U.S. Shouldn’t Abandon Syrian Kurdistan

An Interview with Diliman Abdulkader, EMET Kurdistan Project


by Jerry Gordon and Rod Reuven Dovid Bryant (March 2019)

Syrian Democratic Forces and US Special Ops troops in Hasakah, Syria near Turkish border



President Trump stunned our allies and partners in the War against the Islamic State when, on December 19, 2018, he declared that ISIS had been defeated and that he was bringing the 2,500 US troops in Syria back to the US. In a visit to Al-Asad airbase in Anbar Province in Western Iraq in late December, the President reiterated his earlier public statement, but noted that the US still had 5,500 troops at the strategic base just across the border from Syria and could be used to ‘monitor’ Iranian activities in the region. That brought a prompt negative reaction from Iraqi political leaders in Baghdad. Meanwhile, Iran’s Rouhani, Russia’s Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan ‘welcomed’ the prospect of US withdrawal from Syria. In retrospect, The President’s decision was a premature and impetuous action.


As of late February 2019, US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) assaulted the final bastion of Baghouz in Eastern Syria, the last pocket of resistance of fanatic Salafist ISIS fighters. They had the temerity of demanding to be bussed to Idlib Province in northwest Syria seeking the protection of Turkish President Erdogan. He had demanded control of a safe zone in northern Syria from the Mediterranean to the Iraqi Kurdistan frontier. President Trump had warned Erdogan that if he did not protect the Kurds, the US might undertake punitive economic sanctions. US Central Command commander Gen. Joseph Votel had expressed support for protection of the SDF in apparent disagreement with the President’s position on withdrawal of US forces in Syria. However, interim Pentagon civilian chief Patrick Shanahan at the annual Munich Security Conference told a bi-partisan Congressional delegation that the pullout of US troops in Syria was on schedule for withdrawal by late April 2019. That brought an abrupt adverse comment from US delegation leader Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) rejecting Shanahan’s remarks, perhaps reflective of the consternation of fellow US lawmakers present at the Munich Security Conference. Subsequent to this clash there was a trial balloon floated by the Trump White House to withdraw the bulk of US forces from Syria, but leaving approximately 200 US troops, conditioned on the contribution of allies, primarily the French and British, to add, their own contingents resulting in a combined force of upwards of 1,700 troops.


This harsh reality was not lost on the Syrian Kurds. They had created with US backing a Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) of over 60,000 composed largely of Kurds but also Arabs and minority Christians in the northeastern Syria. The SDF had liberated with the aid of US air strikes and special ops troops in a series of battles along the Euphrates River in Kobani, Raqqa and Deir Ezzor province, retaking land held by the self-declared Caliphate of the Islamic State. Lands that encompassed upwards of 90 percent of Syria’s oil and gas fields and the country’s agricultural bread basket. The Syrian Democratic Council had effectively established a self-governing region with diverse leadership. The latter was reflected in the prominent role played by women both in the SDF and the SDC. The co-chair of the SDC, Ms. Ilham Ahmed in the wake of President Trump’s withdrawal decision went to Washington, Paris and London seeking to further proposals for an international force and a possible no-fly zone, modeled on the one established to free Iraqi Kurdistan in 1992, to protect the Kurdish controlled northeast region. She was anxious to reach US decisionmakers to reassess the current plans for withdrawal. The SDF had lost more than 10,000 lives of Kurds and others in the defeat and retaking of lands occupied by the Islamic State and many Congressional leaders expressed the view that we could no abandon this valued ally. Ms. Ilham, a native of Afrin in northwest Syria was all too aware of what happened after the January 19, 2018 Turkish and Islamist ally’s invasion of the ancient Kurdish enclave in northwestern Syria: ethnic and cultural cleansing, Islamization and ‘Turkification”. Erdogan’s demand for control of a so-called called ‘safe zone’ in northern Syria meant that most of the Kurdish in seven cities along the frontier would be under Turkish occupation. Ms. Ahmed was also interested in continuing the US presence in Syria to address the additional threats of both the Assad regime and Iran and its Shiite proxies.

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To find out the current status of efforts by the US to protect Syrian Kurdistan, US and Israel regional security interests Israel News Talk Radio- Beyond the Matrix invited Diliman Abdulkader of the Endowment for Middle East (EMET) Kurdistan project to discuss these issues.


Rod: What a great day to move Beyond the Matrix and give you some information that’s vital for your decision-making process and to keep informed about what’s going on about Israel and the Middle East. You are listening to Beyond the Matrix here on Israel News Talk Radio. Jerry, we have an amazing guest. First time ever to have  Diliman Abdulkader on and this is a young man full of fire for the country that he came from and his people the Kurds. Jerry why don’t you pick it up and give us the bio of our guest.


Jerry: Diliman is most unusual. He was born just about the time that you served in the first Gulf War. He fled along with his family from Iraqi Kurdistan to spend seven years in a UN refugee camp in Syria. That experience taught him how bad it was under the Hafez Assad regime in Syria for the Kurds. Subsequently, the family was admitted to the United States. He is an American citizen. He is well-educated holding a Master’s Degree from the School of International Service of American University in Washington, DC. He is the first Kurdish American advocate for his people. He regularly can be seen going to Capitol Hill to deliver the message of why the Kurds are America’s most important ally in the Middle East besides Israel.


Rod: What I really like is he is part of an organization called The Endowment for Middle East Truth – Kurdistan Project. The acronym is EMET which as all our Hebrew speakers know means truth. That is no accident as Sarah Stern who has been one of the key figures in the organization came up with that acronym. We are going to find out what the truth is about the Kurdish region, about the Syrian Democratic Forces. Diliman, what is your role in the Endowment for the Middle East Truth Kurdistan Project?


Diliman: Thank you for inviting me to discuss these critical issues. My role at the Endowment for Middle East Truth is Director of the Kurdistan Project. My core issues are the Kurdish issues. It is not specifically Iraqi Kurdistan or say Kurds in Syria, but it is Kurds as a whole, spanning all four regions of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. What I try to do is to educate lawmakers and their staffs on the Kurdish issues, the Kurdish plight, Human Rights issues and developments on the ground. We try to do this as best as we can, and I think we have seen some improvement.


Rod: When you say improvement are you talking about the openness for politicians to have a dialogue about the Kurds?


Diliman: Exactly. They are much more aware about the Kurdish issues now than they were say two years ago.     They don’t see Kurds as Iraqi Kurds specifically. That was the old idea of only Iraqi Kurds because that’s what we were used to. Now they are much more aware of what is going on in Turkey, Iran and, of course, Syria, today.


Jerry: Diliman, tell us about your background as a Kurd born in Kirkuk who came to the U.S. as a refugee.


Diliman: I was born in Kirkuk at the beginning of the first Gulf War. I was just an infant and my family and I fled Iraqi Kurdistan in the early 1990’s. We then fled to Syria to an area now under the control of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces at a United Nations Refugee camp. That camp was targeted by ISIS in 2014 and 15. We ended up being residents at the camp for seven years. Though, I was young, I still remember to this day living under Hafez Assad, Bashar’s father’s dictatorship. That is why it is so critical today that we should not legitimize this regime. After seven years in Syria at this refugee camp, we ended up coming to the United States in early 1998.


Rod: What is the rationale behind President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria? This came as a surprise to both of us as well.


Diliman: President Trump obviously wanted US troops out of long conflicts in the Middle East, Syria, Iraq and in Afghanistan. He warned policy makers and his generals in late March, early April 2018. Basically, he was pressured by the military to keep our troops in Syria for another six months. We were warned that he was going to withdraw troops from Syria. It was not the wisest decision. We don’t agree with that decision to withdraw troops from Syria, it just doesn’t make sense. We saw what happened in 2011 under the Obama Administration in Iraq. The Iraq Kurds even warned the Americans not to withdraw. Then a few years later what happened was the rise of ISIS.


Rod: I understand the President’s’ rationale. It would be nice to be able to say that we don’t have to be involved in any more conflicts around the globe. However, at the same time the Kurds have been an amazing partner for many decades. That was a surprise for me because I thought the Kurds would at least be protected or there would be a secondary plan. Early last year Jerry and had received information from someone on the ground in Syria that there was no plan for a Kurdish controlled self-government region. I became dismayed because we had been strong proponents for the Kurds. Was the President’s announcement premature or was this strategic at some level?


Diliman: Honestly, I think it was premature. The Kurds acknowledge and realize that any U.S. Administration does not have the appetite to create a Kurdish state. What that means is the breakup of the status quo of Iraq and Syria. Can you do that? Can you harm your NATO-ally Turkey for example? Is Iran ready for regime change? All these countries have large Kurdish populations in the millions. NATO partner Turkey has twenty million Kurds alone. Was the President’s decision to withdraw well thought out? I don’t think so. Did he think about the Kurds I don’t think so? Unfortunately, the Kurds do rely on and need Americans on the ground.


Rod: What is the danger of helping to establish a Kurdish government and a region under their control? How disruptive would that be to the status quo in the region?


Diliman: From a Kurdish prospective it wouldn’t be a danger, it would be a benefit to the Americans. Let’s check the boxes. Why wouldn’t the US want a pro-American ally in the region? Sure, that’s a check. Why wouldn’t the US want a pro-secular pro-Western ally? That’s a check. Do they not want American soldiers and military personnel to be safe in the Middle East? That’s a check. We must remember not one American soldier lost his life in Iraqi Kurdistan during the entire 2003 Iraq War.  These are all checks. Do you want to be in the Middle East? Do you want to be in the strategic part of the Middle East, that is Kurdistan? Do you want to maximize pressure as National Security Adviser John Bolton or Secretary of State Pompeo or even the President has said on Iran? That check is the Kurds. We are a buffer to the Shia land bridge that Iran is trying to create. It is the solution that always ends up coming back to the Kurds.


Jerry: Diliman, this past weekend we saw evidence that it has been a tough slog completing the capture of the last bastion for ISIS in Eastern Syria at Baghouz. The dead-enders among the ISIS fighters are asking for something that has occurred before to be bussed out to Idlib Province under the protection of Erdogan. What does that say?


Diliman: Basically, that says what the Kurds have been saying all along that Erdogan’s biggest threat is not ISIS. Erdogan would rather have an Islamic state than a Kurdish state. Unfortunately, the Americans need to look at Erdogan through a different lens. This is not your friendly NATO ally that you are used to. This is not the same Turkey that wants to be part of the European Union. This is much different. They have changed their foreign policy. They have shifted towards the east and it is time for the United States to realize this and pick their allies for what they are. It doesn’t look like that is Turkey any longer, but that it is the Kurds. Erdogan is protecting a major Al Qaeda hub in Idlib Province under his control. The fear is that he will use these forces to go across East of the Euphrates River to attack the Syrian Democratic Forces.


Rod: Speaking of Syrian Democratic Force how large is this force and what have they accomplished?


Diliman: The Syrian Democratic Force is composed of sixty-thousand local troops. That is huge and it has been the most solidly organized and disciplined fighters on the ground in Syria. Especially in eastern Syria it has accomplished tremendous successes. They liberated Raqqa for example, that was ISIS’ administrative capital. They have taken over large areas of the Euphrates River from ISIS, the Assad regime and the Shiite backed militias. They control most of the oil fields in Northeast Syria. Approximately eighty to ninety percent of Syria’s oil is under the control of the Syrian Democratic Force.


Rod: Have they done this without heavy armor and artillery?


Diliman: Exactly. They have done this without modern weapons. Yes, the U.S. is supplying them with airstrikes. What they need, which would be very much helpful, are modern weapons to sustain their positions. Remember they are fighting other enemies. The biggest threats are Iran from the South and Turkey from the North.


Jerry: Erdogan is proposing Turkish control of a safe zone in Syria from the Mediterranean to the Iraqi Kurdish frontier. How dangerous is that?


Diliman: That is very dangerous. If Turkey wants, a safe zone or a buffer zone it should be inside Turkey not inside Syria. We know Turkey’s history. Turkey grabs a piece of land and won’t give it back. It’s about annexation for Turkey. They have this neo-Ottoman agenda. They feel that they lost after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and World War I. They want to expand their territory. Afrin in northwest Syria is an example. Let’s look even further back, Cyprus 1974. Have they returned that? No. In Northeast Syria, that buffer zone of Erdogan is very dangerous because it covers seven or eight major Kurdish cities where most of the Kurdish population is  located.


Rod: And we also know that if they can get a chance to grab oil land, they are going to do that as well. That is a very good point.


Jerry: We also had evidence of Erdogan’s intentions regarding the Syrian Kurds given his incursion in the ancient Kurdish enclave of Afrin in Northwest Syria.


Rod: Great question. Afrin is an example of what could happen if Erdogan can invade Northeast Syria. What we have seen in Afrin since the invasion started in January 2018 is ethnic cleansing: it is demographic change, it is Islamization, it is ‘Turkification’. If you look at photos and videos you will see that they are flying Turkish flags, not Syrian flags or the Syrian Revolutionary Flags. They are bringing in Arab refugees or Arabs that are not indigenous to that region. This conflicts with the local Kurds because Afrin is a majority Kurdish city. It always has been. With Turkey’s invasion Afrin has been culturally erased. They have taken over major landmarks and statues. They have taken over agricultural fields. Erdogan has sold Afrin olive oil in the European markets for example. This is basically ethnic cleansing against the Kurds. We don’t want this to occur in Northeast Syria.


Jerry: You mentioned earlier that you and your family had escaped during the First Gulf War. What was the result when the U.S. pulled out in 1991 and Saddam Hussein’s forces came back in? There was a horrible rampage in Iraqi Kurdistan. But it also triggered the establishment of a no-fly zone. How successful was that?


Diliman: Very successful. I mean look at what the Kurdistan regional government has been able to accomplish since 1992 since the no-fly zone has been implemented. It has been the safest region in Iraq since 1992 and especially from 2003 through the present time. This Administration has an opportunity to create something very similar in Northeast Syria through a no-fly zone. Let’s take the lessons we learned from 1992 when the no-fly zone was without U.S. troops on the ground. As you mentioned U.S. boots withdrew so it was in coordination with the French and the British that we were able to accomplish this. We could replicate this as I have written many times. We could replicate this in Northeast Syria without boots on the ground, but the issue is that okay? The United States wants to withdraw its troops but there are willing European states that want to keep their troops on the ground. They are in a much better position than the Kurds were in Iraq when compared to the Kurds in Northeast Syria.


Rod: What percentage of your proposal is based on this no-fly zone? What do you think would be the major component?


Diliman: That is the major component of it. However, we must acknowledge that the SDF exists. The Iraqi Kurds didn’t have a united Peshmerga force in 1992. In northeastern Syria by comparison we have sixty-thousand troops that are representative of the local population composed of Muslims and Christians and a self-administering government. We have there the building blocks to protect a self-governing system. We just must protect them from the air. That is what is missing.


Jerry: There was a recent interview with one of the SDF Commanders General Mouslam Abdi in which he proposes a mixed force on the ground of 1,500 troops composed of essentially French, British and U.S. contingents. Is that even feasible?


Diliman: I think that’s doable. If the President doesn’t want to keep 2,000 troops there, he could keep 500 Special Forces in Syria. That will keep Iran away from crossing the Euphrates. That would keep Assad at bay and that will prevent Turkey from invading from the north because remember these are NATO partners. Willing partners are the British, the French and even Australia has stated that they are willing to keep troops there to protect the SDF and Syrian Democratic Council. A mix of U.S., NATO and other troops would benefit the President’s promises that other countries should do more on their part as well.


Rod: How optimistic do you feel now, Diliman—about protection for the Kurds?


Diliman: Since the President’s tweet I’m feeling a little better about this largely because there is a better understanding on the Hill. We saw the support of both the Democrats and Republicans. They both called for keeping troops there. What the President did was basically unite both sides in keeping U.S. troops there because we saw what happened in Iraq in 2011. We know that ISIS is not defeated. We know that there are twenty to thirty-thousand fighters there. This basically put back on the table the need to protect the Kurds because we can’t abandon our allies, we can’t abandon our partners. The Kurds and other minorities within the SDF have sacrificed nearly ten thousand lives.


This needs to be acknowledged and this is in Syria only. In Iraqi Kurdistan the Peshmerga forces sacrificed nearly two thousand lives. I mean we can’t abandon them. We can’t hand back Syria to Assad, that doesn’t make sense and Russia is very pleased about this call.


Jerry: What do you think Putin’s objection would be for an area controlled by the Kurds with western allies?


Diliman: Putin is very much against this because he’s stuck with his partner Bashar Assad. He wants him to retake all of Syria, every inch as Assad has stated many times. However, he also is against a Turkish buffer zone as well. What Putin is trying to do is to create a wedge between NATO partners, between Turkey and the United States and Erdogan is now unfortunately taking this bait. We know this with the Turkish S-400 missile purchase. Erdogan has restated just a few days ago that he’s not backing off on this purchase. The missiles are supposed to be delivered in July 2019. Putin’s ultimate intent is to give back Assad all Syrian territory. He can continue to be the major power in the Middle East as the U.S. decides to gradually withdraw from the region which is very dangerous. This is an opportunity for the United States to stay in Syria. I mean why wouldn’t you stay in Syria when you have most of the oil fields under your partner’s control? Why wouldn’t you stay in Syria when it keeps Iran at bay? Why wouldn’t you stay in Syria when it keeps Turkey at bay, and you don’t have to rely on significant US military presence?


Rod: One would think that the Putin would be happier with a NATO zone than a Turkish zone.


Diliman: He doesn’t want either one. Putin does not want a NATO partner over there largely because it is not in his interest and he could care less about the civilian population. However, the United States is not Russia. The United States has an obligation to protect the civilians and Russia does not have an obligation to protect civilians. We witnessed this is Afrin as Jerry mentioned earlier on January 18, 2018.  Putin and Assad basically asked the Kurds either you allow the Assad regime to come in and take over Afrin, or we will control it. We won’t allow Turkey to come in or if we allow Turkey to invade it, we will pull out our troops and give Erdogan the green light. The Kurds said how can we give you Afrin? Afrin is our territory and plus it was the most peaceful region during the Syrian Civil War before this invasion. Instead the Kurds declined Putin’s offer and the very next day January 19, 2018 Erdogan got the green light and the invasion started Operation Olive Branch.


Rod: That was not news we heard at the time.


Jerry: Diliman, what is essentially the logistical support for a possible no-fly zone of the type that you were talking about in Northeast Syria?


Diliman: Implementing or enforcing a no-fly zone requires nearby military bases available to the United States. The U.S. can do this. We have 5,500 U.S. troops in Iraq. The President just visited them in December at the al-Asad Air Base in Anbar Province. This is right next door. We have the Muwaffaq Salti Air Base in Jordan which under the National Defense Authorization Act, we have given more funds, over a billion dollars to expand the base. We have been using that air field since 2014 in Operation Inherent Resolve to fight against ISIS. We have also air bases in Kuwait and the rest of the region as you know in Qatar as well. These can be used to enforce this no-fly zone to protect the Kurds of Northeast Syria. This lessens reliance on the Incirlik NATO Base in Turkey because we have this perspective that Turkey is too big to fail. We must keep in mind Turkey hasn’t been very friendly to us regarding Incirlik. They have been giving us problems. Germany realized this in 2017 as their troops pulled out of Incirlik altogether and they moved to a military base in Jordan. Germany has realized that Turkey has become a problem. Now, the United States must catch up.


Jerry: What is the Israeli stake in freedom for the Kurds at this point?


Diliman: With the Israelis, we all know that they don’t have many friends in the region. The Kurds have always been friendly and open to the Jews and the Israelis. However, the issue with the Israelis is I would say more of a double-edged sword if discussed publicly. That is largely because of what we saw this with Israeli support for the Iraqi Kurdish Referendum in 2017. Prime Minister Netanyahu came out and supported that but what happened in response was we saw Israeli spies in the Kurdish Regional capital of Erbil. The response to that was a Shi’ite threat saying that we will not allow a ‘second Israel’ to be created in the Middle East especially in that region. As far as Syria is concerned, it is in the interest of Israel to have a Kurdish- led self-governing autonomous region because that gives them another friendly ally. However, the Kurds also must be careful because they must contend with the reality of the situation. Across the Jordan river is Iran, the Assad regime, and up to the North is Erdogan who is now a ‘frenemy’ to Israel. Unless the United States can guarantee their safety, unless the United States can guarantee the Kurds protection not just for five or ten years later, but you know forever. Essentially, they will easily come out and protect the State of Israel and be friendly towards the Jews.


Rod: Thus, if we can help establish a safe zone for Kurdish self-rule, we could bring a tremendous amount of security to the region.


Diliman: You are right. This is the idea behind it. The Kurds have always been, have had the most success as far as security. We have protected the Christians who ran to the Kurds for protection. The minorities in the Middle East are being protected. Their churches are being rebuilt. Even Muslims are converting to Christianity under Kurdish protection without any fear. This is what the Kurds in Syria have created and what the Kurds in Iraq have created throughout the years as an example of what the Middle East could be. We should take advantage of that because the Kurds have done what the United States has been advocating for years, democracy in the region. The United States must just take the step of acknowledging this reality.


Jerry: Diliman, how representative is the Syrian Democratic Council of the Northeast Region in Syria?


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Diliman: It is very representative. That is why it has worked and that’s why it has been successful. Because it’s composed of not only majority Kurds but also of indigenous Arab populations and Christians, even Syriacs. Syriacs had been persecuted. They couldn’t practice their language, Aramaic, the ancient Christian language. They couldn’t speak it under the Assad regime under the Baathist Nationalist Party. That is the main key for the SDC self-governing system to work to continue this pluralism, all the constituents of Syria. What the Kurds have created under the SDF and under the Syrian Democratic Council is far better than the alternative which is the Assad regime in Syria. It is under the sway of Iran, the Islamic Republic. Then there is the shift toward Islamism under Erdogan in Turkey. There is not one example of women being recognized as equals as there is under the Kurds. We know that the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, Ms. Ilham Ahmed was just in DC recently. This is a woman representative. We don’t see this in the Middle East, and this is just something that we should continue and advocate for.


Rod: How much of the culture, mindset and philosophy of the Kurds has to do with their moral position in the world about wanting equality amongst religions and pluralism. Has that representative of the Kurdish people for centuries?


Diliman: That is what the Kurds are known for. They are very secular, open-minded, pro-Western because they have been attacked from surrounding states for a century and even before then. The Kurds have always lived in the four regions, Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq. So, they understand they have been on the other side, so they have been attacked. Their religion has been persecuted against. Most Kurds are Muslim, but they weren’t always Muslim. So, we must acknowledge that.  The Kurds want to be the protector of the minorities because we are a minority within these larger states. We understand having genocide committed against us. We understand living in refugee camps for long periods of time and protecting our language, our race, and our culture. I think the Kurds are a perfect example of what the Middle East could be, the possibilities are there.


Rod: During the break I asked you who came up with the brilliant acronym for the organization EMET which those who are Hebrew speakers in our listener audience would know right away means truth. Was that on purpose or was it completely by happenstance?


Diliman: That is all thanks to the Founder and President of EMET, Sarah Stern. I didn’t come up with that. I don’t speak Hebrew, but I do know it does mean truth and it works out right for Middle East Truth and that is what we do on The Hill. We tell the truth when advocating for the Kurds, educating the lawmakers on the Kurds is a prime example of EMET.


Jerry: Speaking about advocacy on the Hill what has been the sense of your encounters with members of Congress about support for these proposals that we have talked about during this interview and how much of that is being filtered through to the White House?


Diliman: I would say that the understanding to protect the Kurds is much stronger than it was before. I would say that a no-fly zone is much more difficult to push for, however it is being discussed. Leaving troops or gradually withdrawing U.S. troops is probably much more successful I would say. It is probably the most likely outcome rather than the no-fly zone unless the U.S. Administration fully endorses this. As far as Capitol Hill, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle understand that the goal is to protect the Kurds, to protect our partners. As I mentioned before, they realize the Kurds have sacrificed their lives and we can’t just abandon our allies. Because the world is watching, and we realize that. If it wasn’t for the Kurds ISIS would be elsewhere not just in the Middle East.


Rod: Is there a website that individuals can go to keep informed of what is going on in the region and with EMET itself?


Diliman: Our website is EMETonline.org. I publish articles. We do fact sheets on each conflict, each region and each country as well. It is not just focused on Israel or the United States or the Kurds. It covers the Middle East from Yemen and Saudi Arabia to Iran and the Gulf.


Rod: We really appreciate your coming on to the program. Your focus is very encouraging. I really appreciate the fact that there is somebody there beating down the doors of Congress trying to get some attention and it is comforting for us and we hope that you are not a stranger to Beyond the Matrix. We would like to have further discussions in the future about what goes on in the region.


Jerry: What we heard during this interview with Diliman Abdulkader is that there is hope. There is light there in the context of furthering the Kurdish cause and developing an important ally for American and Israeli security in the Middle East


Rod: You, our, listeners can help us by sharing this program with as many people you can so that we can inform the public. You have been listening to Beyond the Matrix here on Israel News Talk Radio. Shalom for now.


Listen to the Israel News Talk Radio—Beyond the Matrix interview with Diliman Abdulkader.



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Jerome B Gordon is a Senior Vice President of the New English Review and author of The West Speaks, NER Press 2012. Mr. Gordon is a former US Army intelligence officer who served during the Viet Nam era. He was the co-host and co-producer of weekly The Lisa Benson Show for National Security that aired out of KKNT960 in Phoenix Arizona from 2013 to 2016. He is co-host and co-producer of the Middle East Round Table periodic series on 1330amWEBY, Northwest Florida Talk Radio, Pensacola, Florida. He is producer and co-host for the weekly Israel News Talk Radio-Beyond the Matrix program that airs on-line out of Jerusalem.

Rod Reuven Dovid Bryant is the creator and host of the weekly Israel News Talk Radio-Beyond the Matrix that airs on-line out of Jerusalem. He is he Director of Education and Counseling for Netiv Center for Torah Study in Houston, Texas. He was a successful former Evangelical Christian minister, who advocates Torah-based principles for the non-Jew.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


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