NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A protest by Nashville's Kurdish community on Friday is getting the attention of members of Congress.

It all has to do with President Donald Trump ordering U.S. troops to withdraw from Northern Syria. 

Since Turkey invaded Northern Syria, people have already died. That's a region where thousands of Kurds call home.

On Friday, The Kurdish people in Nashville made their message clear about the need to stand with the Kurds.

Hundreds filled the sidewalk in front of the federal building in downtown Nashville.

"I personally have family there. A lot of people here personally have family there and we want to make sure they’re protected," Reber Merani, a protester said. 

They want people to know about Turkish forces attacking the Kurds who helped the U.S. defeat ISIS.

The invasion came after President Trump announced U.S. troops would be leaving Northern Syria.

“It was a betrayal to say the least. It was blatant betrayal of the most loyal partners in the Middle East," Prof. Kirmanj Gundi with Tennessee State University said. 

Professor Gundi called the president's decision abrupt. He's concerned about who will guarantee ISIS won't return if the Kurds are wiped out.

“If Turkey is not stopped, the consequence would be very bloody," Prof. Gundi said.

Nashville is home to the largest Kurdish population in the United States. Their protest isn't going unnoticed.

“This is wrong what’s happening. 11,000 Kurds died fighting ISIS. They had far more casualties than we did and this is how we treat them to abandon our alliance with them," Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tennessee) said.

Democratic Congressman Cooper said he rarely participates in protests, but now is the time to speak up.

"The president needs to reverse his policy," Cooper said.

Republican Congressman Mark Green tweeted about his disappointment with the decision.

For Merani, he wants to see something done.

“We appreciate all the kind words from Congress people, but it’s going to take some actions," Merani said. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Cameron Taylor is a national Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist who joined the News 4 team in December 2018.

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