ISIS continues to spread terror in Iraq and Syria as the Islamic extremist group targets non-jihadist Muslims, Christians and all ethnic and religious others who do not agree with the creation of an Islamic state. Millions of Iraqis have been murdered or displaced, many of them seeking asylum in European countries.
Last week, France welcomed 40 Iraqi Christian refugees whose lives were in immediate danger in their home country. The refugees in France flew from Arbil, the capitol of the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Several hundred more Christians living in the Levant – a region including Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, the island of Cyprus and part of southern Turkey – are expected to find shelter in France within the next month.
The Islamic extremists have been demanding that everyone convert to jihadist Islam. The alternative is torture or death. An estimated 1.2 million people in Iraq alone, not including the once-residents of contested territory in Syria, have moved from their homes and livelihoods in search of security.
In a recently uploaded Youtube video, an Iraqi man and woman who were transferred to a safer country spoke in anonymity about their fears.
“This is the last chance for us, because we don’t have anything,” the woman said. “We don’t have houses. We don’t have work. I have lost everything. I have lost my job. I was a teacher and now I am nothing.”
The man followed by confessing loss at ISIS’s egregious tactics and mission, then hope for a future in which his family is not plagued with perpetual anxiety.
“They [ISIS] rape women and girls and kidnap people,” he said. “We have Muslim friends who are very nice, but we don’t know why the jihadists are doing this. We’re just Christians is all. We’ll start from scratch. It’s going to be hard for us, but it’s going to be better for us than living under threatened security, always cautious, everywhere in Iraq.”
Shuttling everyone at imminent risk to a haven in France is a priority, but Iraqis who have an ongoing relationship with Europe are being favored by French officials. Iraqis who have relatives in France or who have been to France before will be given preferential treatment.
The planes that bring refugees to Europe have been carrying humanitarian aid items such as foodstuffs and medical supplies to Iraq on their way there. The planes utilize proactive round trips in Europe’s struggle against ISIS; and the round trips will likely continue.
Laurent Fabius, the Foreign Minister of France, said that the total number of refugees in France could reach “several thousand” by the time ISIS has stopped accumulating territory.
This marks the increasingly active role Europe and the developed world has taken to quell ISIS and end its reign of terror.
– Adam Kaminski