One of the few foreign-policy priorities on which Republicans and Democrats can agree these days is the importance of aiding Kurds in and around Iraq. The White House is working openly with Syrian Kurds whose political roots go back to Kurdish separatists in Turkey. Members of both parties support legislation to directly arm the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. Even Donald Trump has spared a kind word for them.
The U.S. relationship with Kurds hasn't always been so warm. In 1975, the CIA cut off covert aid to the Iraqi Kurds at the request of the shah of Iran, leaving them to be slaughtered by Iraqi forces. President Ronald Reagan turned a blind eye in 1988 when Saddam Hussein attacked Kurdish villages with nerve gas. President George H.W. Bush was slow to respond when Saddam attacked the Kurds again in 1991 after a U.S.-led coalition drove invading Iraqis out of Kuwait.