US Government: Defend Christians from Turkey
There is hope in Iraq for displaced Christians who were driven from their homes 2¼ years ago. As the Iraqi army now stands on the outskirts of Mosul, a number of historically Christian villages east of Mosul have been liberated. Christians are poised to return to their homes, and repair their desecrated churches.
But there is a fly in the ointment: Turkey. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan – who imagines himself a 21st century Caliph – reportedly opposes the return of Christians to the Nineveh Plain. The Wall Street Journal reports he wants Mosul reserved for “only Sunni Arabs, Turkomens, and Sunni Kurds.” And he has the means to enforce his will: Turkey has stationed 2,000 soldiers in Iraq against the wishes of the Iraqi Prime Minister. That’s called an invasion.
US policy in Iraq and Syria has been an unmitigated humanitarian disaster, and Christians have paid a high price. The good that we can now accomplish is to ensure the preservation of the ancient Christian presence in these countries. The United States must assert in the most absolute of terms the right of Christians to return home. It must be US policy to shield Christians and other religious minorities from Erdogan’s fantasy of a restored Ottoman Empire.