Washington, DC, October 18, 2017- “In the wake of recent events in northern Iraq, IDC is gravely concerned for ethnic and religious minorities, who have suffered genocide at the hands of ISIS,” said Philippe Nassif, IDC’s Executive Director. “The U.S. government should use strong diplomatic pressure to ensure that the presence of Shia militias does not undermine the fundamental human rights of vulnerable minorities in northern Iraq.”

“America’s Coalition allies didn’t liberate Northern Iraq from ISIS only to turn it over to Iran,” said Andrew Doran, IDC’s Senior Policy Advisor, who spoke on the issue on Capitol Hill Wednesday. “The U.S. government’s message condemning the Kurdish referendum was heard loud and clear in Baghdad, Ankara, and Tehran. Now there’s grave concern about Iranian proxies, particularly those under the influence of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).”

Iranian proxies are a threat to sovereignty and security throughout the region. “As the Shia Crescent solidifies across the region, it will continue to threaten vulnerable groups from Iran to Lebanon,” added Nassif. “We hope that the Trump Administration will recognize that this threat must be neutralized and local communities empowered and protected throughout the Middle East.”

Doran, Robert Nicholson, Mark Tooley, and Stephen Hollingshead recently argued in The Hill that U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley should call on the UN and U.S. Coalition allies to establish a protected zone for genocide victims in northern Iraq.

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