President Barack Obama has consistently considered Turkey an “ally” of the United States, despite its hostile attitude toward us and other freedom-loving people, such as the Kurds.
But that hostility reached a new low when Turkish officials delayed the homecoming of three Americans who died in Syria while fighting Islamic State group militants.
The bodies of Levi Shirley, William Savage and Jordan MacTaggart were transported from Syria to Iraq and were supposed to make the return flight home via Turkey, but officials instead routed their remains hundreds of miles east to avoid crossing the Turkish border, according to The Washington Post.
Shirley, Savage and MacTaggart had been serving as members of the People’s Protection Units — a Kurdish ground force aligned with the U.S. military and the main Kurdish guerrilla group battling the Islamic State group in Syria — when they were killed during combat.
Weeks later, however, the bodies still had not been brought back to U.S. soil for their families in Colorado and North Carolina to give them a proper burial.
The significant delay was due, in large part, to Turkey’s refusal to allow the bodies of these American heroes to travel through the country on their way back to the U.S.
“While much of the process took too long, this situation was unique and extremely complicated,” U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter said. “It took extraordinary measures by many people to get these men from Syria to the U.S. — especially given the ever-changing and dangerous geopolitical dynamics in the Middle East.”
The caskets carrying these heroic men finally landed on American soil Wednesday at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, where they were returned to their families.
Shirley and MacTaggart returned by train to Denver, while Savage was being transported to his father’s home in North Carolina, according to The Associated Press.
While their families will each be presented with a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol, I’m sure they would have rather had their loved ones back as soon as possible after they were killed. Unfortunately, Obama’s “friends” in Turkey were intent on ensuring that took as long as possible.
Perhaps they’re not as friendly as Obama wants us to believe.