Iraq

LOVE IS BLIND

 

Update:   Hear our interview with Amanda Matti, author of A Foreign Affair, (originally aired on KNSJ radio) by clicking the audio link here.

 

A Foreign Affair, by Amanda Matti (W & B Publishers, Kernersville, NC, 2016, 343 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

December 1, 2016 (San Diego) - Amanda Matti, an El Cajon (San Diego) resident who served six years in the United States Navy, including a 2005 deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, has written a riveting true story of romance and war; A Foreign Affair. Matti provides graphic details of her experience in a war that many in this country felt never should have been.

A TRUE STORY OF LOVE AND WAR

 

A Foreign Affair: A True Story of Love and War, by Amanda Matti (Available at Amazon.com, 2016, 354 pages).

Preview by Dennis Moore

October 19, 2016 (San Diego) - I can’t wait to get my hands on this book, as the author, an El Cajon resident has indicated to me just today that she will be mailing it out to me for my review in the East County Magazine. She will also appear on our “East County Magazine Live!” radio show to be interviewed with all the salacious details of this book. A Foreign Affair has all the ingredients of true love and intrigue in a foreign country, which the author describes as “love at first sight” between herself, as a U.S. Navy Analyst, and her Iraqi translator Fahdi, in war-torn Iraq.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: BISHOP WARDUNI SPEAKS OUT ON PLIGHT OF CHALDEANS AROUND THE WORLD

 

By Miriam Raftery

East County Magazine was granted an exclusive interview yesterday with Bishop Mar Schlemon Warduni, who has been serving as interim Bishop  and apostolic administrator of St.Peter Chaldean Catholic Diocese since May, following the retirement of Bishop Sarhad Jammo.  Bishop Warduni leaves the U.S. today to head for Rome and then Iraq, awaiting appointment of a permanent Bishop for the San Diego region.

 Bishop Warduni has long served in Baghdad, Iraq under Patriarch Mar Louis Sako, and as Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops Council. He has worked to build over20 projects serving Christians in Iraq, including a church, senior citizens home, student/youth complex, homes for priests and a Bishop’s house. (Read his full biography here.)

In our interview, Bishop Warduni discussed the plight of Christians in Iraq and in refugee camps,  the challenges of keeping Chaldean culture alive,  the controversy over Father Noel Gorgis being asked to leave the diocese, and Bishop Warduni’s hopes for the future.

LOCAL CHALDEAN CHRISTIANS REACT WITH FEAR AS SUPREME COURT DEADLOCK THREATENS DEPORTATION BACK TO RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN IRAQ

 

East County News Service

Photo: Iraqi Chaldeans rallied in El Cajon in 2014 pleading for the U.S. to help to save Christians from ISIS.

 

June 23, 2016 (San Diego) — Fear rippled through the community here, as word of Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court vote reached San Diego, home to the nation’s largest concentration of Iraqi Christians.

“Today’s announcement is alarming for immigrant families everywhere, but it is particularly frightening for Chaldeans,” said Mark Arabo, spokesperson for the Western U.S. Chaldean Catholic Diocese and the Minority Humanitarian Foundation, a San Diego organization that has rescued over 400 Iraqi Christians fleeing genocide in the Middle East and seeks to help another 700,000 victimized by religious persecution.

“People who came here to escape religious persecution and extermination at the hands of ISIS are now being told they have to go back. They’re terrified.” Arabo said.

HOUSES PASSES BILL TO STOP REFUGEES FROM IRAQ AND SYRIAN FROM ENTERING U.S.

 

 

Update Nov. 20, 2015:  Here is how San Diego's Congressional members voted:  Representatives Duncan Hunter, Scott Peters and Darrell Issa voted for banning refugees from Iraq and Syria, while Representatives Juan Vargas and Susan Davis voted against the broad-based ban.

East County News Service

Photo: Iraqi Christians in El Cajon at a 2014 rally pleaded for help to save persecuted Christians in Iraq

November 19,2015 (San Diego’s East County) –The House of Representatives has passed a bill to suspend admission of refugees from both Syria and Iraq into the U.S., until national security agencies certify that they pose no security risk.

The measure passed by 289 to 137, a wide enough majority to override President Barack Obama’s threatened veto, with 47 Democrats joining Republicans to push the bill through.  But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has pledged to block the bill in the Senate.

U.S. HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM HOSTS “OUR WALLS BEAR WITNESS: IRAQI MINORITES IN PERIL” EXHIBITION: LIVE WEBCAST NOV. 9

East County News Service

Photo by Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin, courtesy United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

November 7, 2015 (Washington D.C.) –A live webcast will be streamed Monday, November 9 at 3:30 p.m. at  http://ushmm.org/webcast-iraq as part of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum exhibition, “Our Walls Bear Witness: Iraqi Minorities in Peril."

Building-size images will be projected on the exterior of the muesum’s walls at night from Nov. 9-12 during FotoWeekDC 2015. These imaes will depict the Yezidi people and other ethnic and religious minorities who have been targeted by the self-proclaimed Islamic State in northern Iraq. The opening-night public program will include a panel of experts who will discuss the mass atrocities in the Ninewa province of Iraq and the plight of ethnic and religious minorities.

CHRISTIANS EXECUTED BY ISIS; PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS URGED TO TAKE ACTION

October 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--Militants with ISIS, the Islamic State, have released a video that appears to show executions of three Assyrian Christian hostages captured  in Syria in February, the Guardian reports. The terrorists are threatening to kill 200 more hostages, including women and children, unless hefty ransoms are paid for each prisoner, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Assyrian and Chaldean Christians have faced genocide at the hands of ISIS for refusing to convert to Islam. International leaders are urging President Barack Obama and Congress to take action, but thus far those please seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Locally, Mark Arabo, a leader in the Chaldean community, issued this statement. “"It breaks my heart to see the continuous bloodshed, and the constant persecution of Christians by ISIS. Scholars, journalists, and the American public are in consensus that more must be done to end this genocide. Yet, our government continues to remain inactive. Every video is yet another reminder of the victims our government has left to rot in Iraq and Syria.”

VARGAS, ARABO IN FOX NEWS SPECIAL: CROSSING JORDAN

 

June 27, 2015 (San Diego)--Congressman Juan Vargas and Mark Arabo will be featured in an hour-long special, “Crossing Jordan—Escape from Terror” on Fox News detailing their work  to help facilitate safe passage for religious minorities out of Iraq and Syria, and to secure their freedom.

The program anchored by Bret Baier premiered Friday night and will air again on Saturday, June 27 at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and on Sunday, June 28 at 6 p.m. Pacific Standard time.

SAN DIEGO RESEARCHER HELPS LAUNCH “PROJECT MOSUL” TO RECREATE HERITAGE DESTROYRED BY ISLAMIC STATE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 4, 2015 (San Diego)—Imagine using crowd-sourced images to digitally recreate ancient works of art and architecture, starting with those destroyed by the Islamic State in Iraq and other world heritage sites where antiquities have been lost.  That’s precisely the mission of Project Mosul, an innovative undertaking started by University of California San Diego (UCSD) researcher Matthew Vincent, along with several others.

You can help!  Needs include uploading videos you have from destroyed or damaged sites, such as vacation photos you’ve taken. You can also assist in sorting, masking, or processing reconstructions on the site.  Start  here.  If you know how to code, you can build tools here or join a conversation with volunteers  here.

MARK ARABO SPEAKS AT ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN POWAY SUNDAY JUNE 7 AND JUNE 28

 

Upcoming Sunday Education:

June 4, 2015 (Poway) Sunday, June 7 and 28, at 9 a.m., St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Poway will host an Education Summit.  Nationally-recognized global humanitarian Mark Arabo will share details of the urgent circumstances in Iraq and neighboring Syria. He will provide insights into how we may be able to help our fellow Christians in the part of the world where Christianity was born. The theme of Arabo’s speech will be “Persecution of Christians in the Middle East.”

WHERE ARE THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION?

 

Iraq: The War That Shouldn’t Be – You Decide, by M.M. Chantiloupe (Xlibris Corporation, 2010, 305 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

May 16, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) - Although the Iraq war is over, we are still feeling the residual effects of that controversial campaign, and it is put into perspective by San Diego resident M.M. Chantiloupe in her book; Iraq: The War That Shouldn’t Be – You Decide. Chantiloupe writes a scathing analysis and rebuke of the Bush Administration in this well-written and incisive book. She asks rhetorical questions that gets us all to think about why we actually went into that war and the harm that it has done to America and Iraq, as well as the world itself. Central in her discussion is the false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction. Chantiloupe writes in a scholarly fashion her analysis of this war and its residual effects, such as the current threat of ISIS, or the Islamic terrorist threat.

A LONG WAY FROM JAMAICA WEST INDIES!

 

 

Driven: When Obstacles Take Center Stage , by Magetta Chantiloupe (Austin Macauley Ltd., London, England, 2014, 379 pages).

“Keep guard over your eyes and ears as the inlets of your heart, and over your lips as the outlet, lest they betray you in a moment of unawareness.”

Anne Bronte, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Book Review by Dennis Moore

March 4, 2015 (San Diego) - Looking from the outside at Magetta Chantiloupe and all that she has accomplished in life, one would think that this San Diego resident and author of Driven: When Obstacles Take Center Stage, has always had it together. But looks would be deceiving, as this Certified Financial Planner with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards – retired General Stock Broker and native of Jamaica West Indies, and mother of four adult children has fought and struggled to attain all that she has accomplished. Also the author of Iraq: The War That Shouldn’t Be – You Decide, Chantiloupe has been a world traveler – she has cruised the world, 41 of which were on the CUNARD Line. Her actual achievements and overall story could fill several books.

ISIS SEIZES HUNDREDS OF CHRISTIANS IN SYRIA

 

Trials by ISIS underway as some captives reportedly freed; local Chaldean leaders speak out on crisis

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Open Doors

March 1,2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Fears mount for hundreds of Assyrian Christians taken captive by ISIS last week, amid reports that the self-proclaimed Islamic State militants are putting hostages on trial, though some reports indicate that a handful have been freed. 

The hostages include at least 262 men, women and children taken from villages in northeastern Syria, CNN reports.  Open Doors USA, an organization serving persecuted Christians worldwide, reports the captives include 72 families.

READER’S EDITORIAL: AN OPEN LETTER TO CHALDEANS, ASSYRIANS AND SYRIACS WORLWIDE

 

By Ben Kalasho, Founder and President, San Diego East County Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce

March 1, 2015 (El Cajon)--When news broke six days ago of more than 200 Assyrians kidnapped by (Da’ash) ISIS, I was on a telephone conference with my high profile contacts on the ground in Kurdish Controlled Areas of Northern Iraq discussing the destruction of Iraqi antiquities dating from the 9th Century BC by ISIS thugs. The report came to me that over 200 Assyrians were kidnapped in the town of Tal Tamr in the Hasaka Province, and other villages in Syria including Tal Hurmoz, Tal Shamiram, Tal Rumman, Tal Nasra which are home to many Assyrians and Syriacs.

CHALDEAN PATRIARCH DEFIES POPE, ORDERS PRIESTS BACK TO IRAQ

 

East County News Service

Photo: St. Peter’s Cathedral in El Cajon; photo by Khari Johnson

January 18, 2015 (El Cajon)—Chaldean Church Patriarch Louis Sako has issued a statement published in an Arabic language publication indicating that he refuses to recognize the authority of Pope Francis.

INSIDE KURDISTAN'S REFUGEE CAMPS: A REPORT FROM RESCUE TASK FORCE

 

 

 

 

 

Rescue Task Force, a nonprofit international rescue organization that started in East County, now has a team in Kurdistan/Iraq assisting the refugees there. It has been difficult even for major international media to get reports from inside this region, since many news organizations have pulled out their correspondents after the beheading of two journalists by ISIS terrorists (also known as ISIL or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Today we received this report from Gary Becks, founder and president of RTF, on the situation he and his team have found there as they work to assist religious minorities forced to flee their homes.

By Gary Becks

October 5, 2014 (Kurdistan)--Less than one mile separated us from ISIS.  It was too close for comfort, but it was where comfort was needed the most.  One of our RTF mottos is: We Go To Where Others Will Not, To Do What Others Will Not’.

In the Nineveh region of Kurdistan (Iraq) there are formal refugee camps set up in proximity to major cities to help the one million two hundred thousand displaced people.

Out here in the hinterland, though, there are tens of thousands of refugees who fled from ISIS into these countryside areas where they had connections and/or to where they feel safer than in the large metropolitan camps.

U.S. AND ARAB ALLIES LAUNCH AIR STRIKES AGAINST ISIL STRONGHOLD IN SYRIA

 

 

 

Photo: Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, right, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testify before Senate Armed Services Committee on the threat from ISIL

By Miriam Raftery

September 22, 2014 (Washington D.C.)--U.S. military & partner nation forces have begun striking ISIL targets in Syria using mix of fighters, bombers and Tomahawk missiles, Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon Press Secretary, confirmed Monday evening.  The U.S. has previously led over 150 air strikes in Iraq, before joining with allies to expand the assault on ISIL, or Islamic State, forces into Syria.

Residents of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed capital, have reported attacks on the city on social media sites.  An estimated two-thirds of ISIL forces are located in Syria.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “WE WILL DEGRADE AND ULTIMATELY DESTROY ISIL”

 

Watch on YouTube

Read the President's full address here.

By Miriam Raftery

September 10, 2014 (Washington D.C.)-- President Obama tonight spoke to the nation , laying out a comprehensive strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) terrorist group that has declared an Islamic state across Iraq and Syria, massacring thousands of Iraqis and beheading two captured American journalists.

“Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.  Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are,” the President said. “That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.  This is a core principle of my presidency:  If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

The President made clear that the U.S. will lead an international effort to eradicate ISIL. He assured that unlike the past decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, this conflict will not include U.S. combat troops on the ground.  Instead, he laid out a four-part strategy. First, air strikes will target ISIL in Iraq, Syria and wherever else ISIL poses a threat.

RESCUE TASK FORCE HEADS OVERSEAS TO AID IRAQI CHRISTIAN REFUGEES: $20,000 IN DONATIONS SOUGHT FOR RELIEF EFFORT

 

Photo:  At a recent rally in El Cajon, thousands of local Iraqi Christians implored America to send help for their families in Iraq fleeing genocide

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Rescue Task Force, an international aid group that started in East County, announced today that it will send a multi-national team of veteran disaster responders to help refugees displaced in Kurdistan by ISIS or Islamic State terrorists. The RTF volunteers will bring medical and dental help along with humanitarian supplies.

The group will meet up in California with leaders Gary Becks and Larry Cutting. They will travel to Erbil and then trek to northern Kurdistan.

To date, 1.2 million people have survived the initial slaughter by ISIS forces and have fled to safe havens in Erbil and Kurdistan, faced with a stark choice of fleeing, converting to Islam, or being beheaded.  Most fled with only the clothes on their backs.

OVER A HALF MILLION DOLLARS RAISED LOCALLY TO HELP IRAQI CHRISTIANS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left:  Noori Barka speaks as slideshow depicts Iraqi Christian refugees forced to walk across the desert, fleeing their homeland to escape ISIS terrorists with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

 

September 4, 2014 (ElCajon)--Community members and religious leaders came together on August 27  in El Cajon at a fundraiser to help save Christians in Iraq who have fled their homes to escape the Islamic State imposed by ISIS terrorists.  ISIS is systematically massacring Christians and other minorities who refuse to convert to Islam.  The event, which was emceed by KCBQ radio host Mark Larson, raised over $588,000. 

Bishop Sharhad Jammo (photo, right) has pledged to personally  travel to the Middle East to deliver the donations, despite grave dangers in the region, where Christian religious leaders have been kidnapped, tortured and murder.

FUNDRAISER TONIGHT IN EL CAJON TO HELP IRAQI CHRISTIANS

 

 

 

East County Chaldean Bishop Jammo to personally deliver donations from Iraqi Christian Relief Fund fundraiser to persecuted Christians in Iraq

East County News Service

August 27, 2014 (El Cajon) Tonight at 7 p.m.,  over 700 San Diegans, including the Chaldean community, will gather in solidarity to raise funds for persecuted Iraqi Christians, at the Iraqi Christian Relief Fund (ICRF) fundraiser at St Peters Chaldean Cathedral in Rancho San Diego.

This is the first major fundraiser in San Diego for persecuted Iraqi Christians.

Speakers at the fundraiser showing unity with Iraqi Christians, will include Dr. Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor of Skyline Church in Rancho San Diego.

ISIS CAPTURES IRAQ'S LARGEST CHRISTIAN CITY: IRAQIS IN SAN DIEGO & MIDDLE EAST ISSUE WARNING FOR THE WORLD

 

"Your sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future…You are in danger." -- Exiled Iraqi Archbishop Amel Shimoun Nona

By Miriam Raftery

August 25, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Qaraqosh, the largest Christian city in Iraq (photo, left), has been overrun by Islamic State terrorists (formerly known as ISIS, the Islamic Sate of Iraq and Syria), CNN reports.

Sean Malone from Crisis Relief International (CRI) sent a heart-wrenching text message stating, “We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are beheading children systematically.”

KALASHO CALLS FOR NEW PROVINCE TO BE FORMED IN IRAQ AS SAFE HAVEN FOR PERSECUTED CHALDEANS AND OTHER MINORITIES

 

By Nadin Abbott, Reporting San Diego

Reporting San Diego sat down on August 22 in Santee with Ben Kalasho, a leader in the Chaldean community, to discuss genocide in Iraq. Excerpts below are reprinted with permission.

Aug. 24, 2014 (Santee)--“All those people who you see on the mountain side on Sinjar, sleeping on what seems to be the front of churches, those people were homeowners, they owned vehicles, they had jobs or owned businesses and are now homeless,” said Ben Kalasho, a leader in the Chaldean community and President of the East County Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce.

According to Kalasho,600,000 people are internally displaced in Iraq. This is an almost incomprehensible number, but we cannot turn away from it.

Our leaders, starting with the President, have mentioned the Yazidis, who are an ancient people that precede Islam and Christianity in Iraq. But the plight of other minorities, including Christian Chaldeans, Siriacs and others has not drawn the same level of national media attention.

CALLS NEEDED TO LEGISLATIVE LEADERS TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS, REVIVE RESOLUTION, LOCAL LEADERS SAY

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 22, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The California Assembly Rules Committee has stalled an emergency measure, SJR 17, by Senator Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) that calls for executive action to left a regional immigration ceiling and allow persecuted Iraqi Christians to come to America. 

The measure faces imminent death Monday unless legislators act, said Mark Arabo, national spokesman for Iraqi Christians and President/CEO of the Neighborhood Market Association. Concerned citizens are urged to call Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins at (916)319-2078 and Assemblyman Richard Gordon, Chair of the Assembly Rules Committee at (650) 691-2121 today to urge passage of SJR 17.

PEACE MARCHERS IN EL CAJON ASK U.S. & UNITED NATIONS FOR AIRLIFTS, ASYLUM TO SAVE IRAQI CHRISTIANS

 

United Nations passes resolution for sanctions against ISIS backers; local Iraqis ask for airlifts to save lives

Hear our exclusive interview with Mark Arabo on progress at the United Nations to save Iraqi Christians, originally aired Aug. 20 on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ 89.1 FM:

http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/6scu4kz7x2/Arabo-UNresolutioninterviewfor8-20-14show-FINAlwithrallyclips.mp3

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 21, 2014 (El Cajon) – Chanting “Save Iraq, save humanity,” and “Save Iraqi Christians,” hundreds of Iraqi-Americans marched through the streets of El Cajon on Tuesday. Many are gravely concerned about family members trapped in Iraq or who have fled as refugees as terrorists now calling themselves the Islamic State have seized cities across Iraq, torturing , killing or kidnapping those who refuse to convert to Islam.  The community showed support, with many motorists honking horns and drawing cheers.

Speakers, including former State Senator Wadie Deddeh, Chaldean-American leader Mark Arabo, and religious leaders also turned out to show solidarity with the persecuted minorities of Iraq.

COMMUNITY RALLIES TO HELP RAMONA MARINE WHO LOST LEGS IN AFGHANISTAN EXPLOSION

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 20, 2014 (Ramona)--On August 9th, Brandon Dodson’s life changed forever.  The Marine Corps Staff Sergeant from Ramona was on combat patrol in Hemand Provice, Iraq when an Improvised Explosive Device, or IED detonated.  He lost both legs and suffered other serious injuries including a fractured pelvis, broken tailbone and broken hand, KPBS reports.

LOCAL KURDS RALLY TO PROTEST ISIS TERRORIST ATTACKS: HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH A LOCAL KURDISH-AMERICAN WITH FAMILY IN TURMOIL

 

 Hear our interview with  a local Kurdish-American woman whose family is caught up in the tragic actions unfolding in Kurdistan under the ISIS assault. Listen online now: (This interview originally aired on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ  radio 89.1 FM)

 

Anguish hits home for local Kurdish residents

By Miriam Raftery

August 15, 2014 (San Diego) – “This is a great humanitarian tragedy, and another genocide against the Kurdish nation,” Kurdish-American Amina (who asked that her last name be withheld) told East County Magazine.  She is horrified at news reports of beheadings, mass graves and the kidnapping of young girls as sex slaves by ISIS terrorists who have laid siege to the city of Shingal and trapped 100,000 refugees atop the Shingal Mountain. She is also frightened by what she is hearing from relatives in the region.

"No one feels safe there. People are hopeless,” she says.

Now the crisis has impacted her own family, like many of the 4,000 to 5,000 Kurdish people in the San Diego region and 15,000 Kurds in the U.S. overall. 

“The Kurdish people know that their dear Peshmarga do not have weapons to defend them from these barbarians, and this makes them live and die in fear. We hear that the Kurdish government is asking people (one of them being my brother) to find themselves weapons and join the Peshmarga,” she wrote in an e-mail to East County Magazine. “Sadly, most people do not have weapons, so if they go to war, they will go with bare hands.”

Audio: 

PEACE WALK TO END GENOCIDE IN IRAQ:AUGUST 19 IN EL CAJON

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 18, 2014 (El Cajon)—Mark Arabo, a national leader among Chaldean Christians in the U.S., has announced plans to lead a “massive” group of Iraqi Christians in a “peace walk to end genocide in Iraq” Tuesday in El Cajon. 

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians and other minorities have been displaced from their homes, murdered or mutiliated in attacks by  ISIS terrorists in Iraq who now call themselves the Islamic State. A prayer vigil earlier this month for Iraq Christians held in El Cajon drew an estimated 2,000 people.

PRESIDENT LAUNCHES AIR STRIKES AGAINST IRAQI TERRORISTS TO HALT “GENOCIDE”

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: President Obama meets with national security advisors on August 7 (WhiteHouse.gov)

August 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – U.S. fighter jets today dropped two 500-pound bombs on terrorists’ artillery that were being used to attack Kurdish forces in Irbil, the capitol of the Kurdish province in Iraq. In addition, U.S. planes dropped humanitarian relief to aid refugees stranded without food or water.

President Barack Obama last night authorized the use of force against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Al Qaeda splinter group that has renamed itself the Islamic State.  The President also authorized humanitarian aid for victims of ISIS forced to flee their homes or be killed, including persecuted Christians and other religious minorities. The President made clear however that he will not authorize ground troops in the conflict.

Locally the announcement drew praise from Mark Arabo, CEO of the Neighborhood Market Association and a national spokesman for Iraqi Christians.

​"​Our work that began seven weeks ago in Congressman Juan Vargas’ office has resulted in a crescendo of tears, smiles and joy throughout the ​entire Iraqi Christian community​," Arabo said, referring to a Congressional resolution authored by Vargas and drafted by Arabo calling for humanitarian aid. 

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