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US Denies Visa To Major Syrian Military Ally In Fight Against ISIS. Roger Algase

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As Islamophobia and paranoia against Syrian refugees who are fleeing from the twin horrors of ISIS and Assad continue to grow in the United States, the State Department has denied a visitor visa to the leader of one of America's most important military allies in the fight against ISIS.

Huffington Post reports that Salih Muslim Muhammad ("Muslim") the leader of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish organization, whose group has provided vital military cooperation with the US in its strikes against ISIS, was denied a visa in 2014. The denial came on the same day that Muslim learned that the Syrian town of Kobani, which his group had played a key role in defending against ISIS, with US support, was finally liberated.

This was the third time that he has been denied a US visa, which he is asking for based on an invitation from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Huffington Post writes:

"A visit to the US would have given Muslim the chance to explain what the PYD was building in the the pockets of Syria the group calls Rojava. The trip would have deepened US-Rojava relations...


U.S. military cooperation with Muslim's group is now taken for granted. Almost every Syria-related decision by the Obama administration explains it further."

According to the Huffpost story, the visa denials may have been based on fear of offending Turkey, another US ally. Turkey opposes the Kurdish group, which it sees as a political threat.

The story also mentions problems in the relations between the Kurds, who are not Arabs, and some Syrian Arab groups which are also helping the US fight against ISIS.

Despite this, as pressure grows in the US to bar thousands of Syrian refugees who are fleeing ISIS rather than supporting it, it might be worth asking whether denying a visitor visa to the leader of one of America's strongest military allies in the fight against ISIS makes any sense.

If ISIS, rather than anti-Muslim prejudice, is the real reason for the opposition to letting Syrian refugees (or any Muslim immigrants at all) into the United States, what is the basis for denying a visa to someone who is providing essential military support to America in its battle against that terrorist group?

The Huffpost story is at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...b072e9d1c1841b


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Updated 12-24-2015 at 06:27 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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