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Byrne backs Iraq airstrikes as reports spread of ‘Christian genocide’ by Islamic militants

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

President Obama announced on Thursday that he had authorized “targeted airstrikes” and humanitarian airdrops in Iraq to both protect U.S. military personnel and to assist religious minorities trapped on a mountain and under siege by Islamic militants.

Obama said the United States “cannot turn a blind eye” while Iraqis face the possibility of “genocide.”

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL1), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, released a statement Friday backing the president’s decision and warning that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) poses a threat to the American people, as well as the Iraqis.

I support President Obama’s decision to authorize military air strikes against ISIS in Iraq. The situation is growing more dire by the minute, and American leadership is needed now more than ever. While I want our involvement to be limited, we can no longer sit on the sidelines while a country we devoted so many American lives to falls into the hands of terrorists once again.

ISIS has made repeated threats against the American people, both overseas and here at home. There is no doubt ISIS poses a clear threat to the United States, and the group is better funded and more extreme than al-Qaeda. I will continue to pray for the safety of American personnel stationed in Iraq and those who will carry out these missions against a truly dangerous enemy.

A Chaldean-American leader advocating on behalf of religious minorities in Iraq said earlier this week on CNN that ISIS is “systematically beheading children.” (Video below)

“There’s actually a park in Mosul where they actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick… this is crimes against humanity,” he said. “They are doing the most horrendous, the most heart-breaking crimes that you can think of.”

Others have reported that children are dying from dehydration and hunger on the Iraq mountain to which religious minorities have fled in an attempt to avoid ISIS.

Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

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