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“PRESIDENT TRUMP: DON’T LET MIDDLE EASTERN CHRISTIANS BE THE VICTIMS OF A RENEWED ‘GAME OF NATIONS’”
“Erdogan’s request to Trump to not arm Kurdish anti-Islamic State forces puts religious minorities in the crosshairs,” says Steve Wagner, President of Solidarity with the Persecuted Church
On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked President Donald Trump not to provide U.S. arms to Syrian Kurdish forces advancing on the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa. Arming the Kurds for their final assault on Raqqa should remain a part of the Pentagon’s plan for destroying the Islamic State, but President Erdogan chooses not to distinguish between the Syrian Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State and the Kurdish PKK Party opposing him in Turkey.
The tension between the Pentagon strategy for defeating the Islamic State and the Administration’s desire for an improved relationship with the Turkish President has Middle Eastern Christians caught in the middle,” stated Wagner.
“The Syrian Kurds have proved themselves worthy allies of the United States, by their effectiveness on the battlefield, and by their acceptance of Christians and other religious minorities in the Kurdish-administered region of Rojava in northeastern Syria. There are only two places in Syria where Christians and other religious minorities are able to live in relative peace: those areas controlled by the government, and the Kurdish-administered region. This contrasts with the area of Syria occupied by Turkey, where Christians are unwelcome. Erdogan’s next ask will be that we abandon completely our Kurdish ally.”
“We call on the United States government to defend the interests of the Christian minority in the Middle East … particularly in Syria, and Iraq. This means using all of our influence to ensure that Syria and Mosul, Iraq, become places in which Christians can live in peace as equal citizens. While respecting Turkey as an important ally, a key NATO partner, and, hopefully, a stabilizing influence in the Middle East, the United States must be clear-eyed enough to see that Turkey does not share our fundamental commitment to religious liberty, either at home or in Syria.”
Solidarity with the Persecuted Church is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to helping the Christian Church persevere where it faces persecution, by providing practical, non-governmental assistance to Christians and Christian Churches in need, and by bringing awareness to the issue of Christian persecution around the world. For more information call Frank Petsche at 202-544-3344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.