CNA Staff, Jun 22, 2020 / 11:00 am
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a statement on Friday, calling on the Turkish military to halt airstrikes in northern Iraq, and urged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stop the military actions.
"USCIRF calls on Turkey to immediately cease its brutal airstrikes in Sinjar, Iraq and to withdraw any ground troops-who represent a dangerous escalation of violence in an already-fragile area," said the statement from USCIRF Chair Gayle Manchin.
Manchin stated that the airstrikes are "particularly threatening to hundreds of traumatized Yazidi families attempting to return to Sinjar and to other civilians in northern Iraq-none of whom deserve to be placed in harm's way by a NATO ally."
The U.S. State Department declared in 2016 that Yazidis, along with the Christian and Shia Muslim religious minorities, were victims of a genocide perpetrated by the Islamic State in the region.