Long calls for increase in humanitarian action in Iraq

Alliance East Belfast MP Naomi Long has said the actions of the Islamic State (IS) group in targeting religious minority groups in Iraq is barbaric and has called for humanitarian action to be increased in order to prevent genocide occurring.

Mrs Long said the recent delivery of aid packages by international forces to people sheltering on a mountain in the north of the country in fear of attacks by IS extremists was a welcome move but more needed to be done to ensure no more civilian casualties occurred.

The air drops followed reports of the slaughter of Christians and Yazidis by members of IS, causing thousands more minorities to flee their homes and seek shelter on Mount Sinjar. US air strikes, which began last week, have also targeted IS artillery positions.

“The actions of IS have been deeply shocking. Deliberately targeting minority groups is nothing less that horrifying and if allowed to remain unchecked, will lead to genocide,” said Mrs Long

“While the recent air drops are welcome, the international community has a moral obligation to do all it can to prevent further terror and loss of life occurring.

“We are seeing a humanitarian crisis taking place in Iraq and the current actions of dropping aid to those stranded on Mount Sinjar needs to be intensified to provide water, food and shelter to all who need it after escaping the advancement of the IS group.

“It is important that a united global front is presented with the condemnation of IS, the prevention of the further persecution of minority groups, whether Christian or otherwise, and the increasing of humanitarian aid so no further innocent lives are lost.”


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