Syrian American Group Says President Trump Deserves Nobel Peace Prize
Rheumatologist Dr. Tarek Kteleh said Trump 'deserves credit'
A Syrian American doctor, at the forefront of an innovative campaign to nominate President Donald Trump for a Noble Peace Prize after he managed to convince Putin to pull back on plans to seize the Syrian refugee city of Idlib in 2018, says he 'deserves credit.'
Rheumatologist Dr. Tarek Kteleh told Fox News that Trump "deserves credit" for preventing the potentially deadly attack on the remaining cities not under the control of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
By the end of summer 2018, the Syrian military and their Russian and Iranian allies surrounded Idlib, a sanctuary city that nearly 4 million civilians fled to.
The area of land was an essential stronghold for rebel forces, and vital to preventing the dictator from accessing control of the Northern portion of the Middle East.
Al-Bezem explained to Trump that there was a risk of the potential slaughter of innocent lives, almost a quarter of whom were children.
Trump assured them that he was "not going to let this happen," Kteleh told Fox News.
But Kteleh admitted he skeptical that Trump would take action.
on Aug. 31, 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted about the dire situation in Idlib warning:
"The U.S. sees this as an escalation of an already dangerous conflict."
"The 3 million Syrians, who have already been forced out of their homes and are now in #Idlib, will suffer from this aggression. Not good. The world is watching," Pompeo said.
"We thought maybe that was just an accident," Kteleh said, after seeing Pompeo's tweet.
"But it could not be an accident--- that the president said he's not going to let this happen and then the next morning for the first time Secretary Pompeo says this."
Trump later furthered calls for the three foreign powers to stand down in Syria.
"President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!"
"This is the first time ever in the last seven or eight years that anyone has done anything for the Syrian people and many of the civilians," Kteleh said, criticizing former President Barack Obama's approach to interventions in Syria.
Kteleh and Al-Bezem wrote in a letter to Trump Thursday:
The 3 million Syrians, who have already been forced out of their homes and are now in #Idlib, will suffer from this aggression. Not good. The world is watching.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 31, 2018
President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed. Don’t let that happen!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2018
"Unlike your predecessor, you bombarded Assad's military airport when he launched chemical weapons against civilians. We are grateful for this display of strength. The world now knows: you mean what you say."
"He said 'the media did not give me credit for it. It's OK. I hear it from Syrian Americans; they thank me for it,'" Trump told Kteleh and Al-Bezem.
"We took it seriously and started thinking about how we could give him credit for what he's done. Number one because he deserves the credit. Saving millions of people is an honor people need to be awarded for," Kteleh said.
"And number two because we feel that if he gets the nomination or gets considered, that will shed more light on these people who became refugees and at any point in time if Putin and Assad start assaulting them again it will give them hope and make the world recognize it."
Kteleh and other members of his advocacy group launched a petition and Facebook page in support of nominating Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020.
"We were surprised with the amount of support we got in a short period of time," Kteleh said.
The page as since racked up almost 28,000 supporters, a number that he says continues to climb by the thousands daily.
"He would not have done that," Kteleh said of Trump working with the Russians.
"We witnessed this firsthand. We went, we talked to the president, told him this was going to happen. He went out. Put pressure on Putin and Russia to stop the massacre. I don't believe it," he said.
On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced they had secured a cease-fire agreement between Turkey and Kurds, shortly after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.
The deal is for a 120-hour cease-fire, at which Kurdish-led forces could pull back in the time frame.
Turkish military operations under the recent offensive known as Operation Peace Spring will halt in Syria during that time.