Posted: Friday, August 8, 2014 10:23 am | Updated: 1:47 pm, Sun Aug 10, 2014.
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) is urging world leaders to step up efforts to protect Iraqi Christians and other minorities who are under threat from the jihadist terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).
“ISIS barbarity is now a top threat to security and stability in the Middle East,” AJC Executive Director David Harris said. “The Christian and Yazidi communities in Iraq are on the run, seeking refuge from ISIS forces who do not hesitate to use brutal violence against anyone who does not succumb to their extremist ideology.”
ISIS jihadists this week invaded the Iraqi city of Sinjar, home to the Yazidis, an ethno-religious group drawing influences from Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam. Considered heretics by ISIS, more than 50,000 Yazidis were driven from their homes. According to the U.N., thousands of Yazidis were killed in the seizure of Sinjar, while the ones driven from their homes have been dying of heat and thirst in the desert.
Previously, ISIS drove Iraqi Christians from their ancient home in Mosul, the country’s second-largest city, as well as from the Nineveh Plains region. ISIS jihadists told Mosul’s Christians that they had to either convert, flee, or face death.
Emerging from the chaos of the Syrian civil war, ISIS has seized large swaths of Syria and northern Iraq while also threatening Iraq’s Kurdish and Shi’a-dominated areas.