Why Isn't the U.S. Arming Assyrian Christians in the Fight against ISIS?

Why Isn't the U.S. Arming Assyrian Christians in the Fight against ISIS?

In a column for Stream.org, Johannes de Jong questions why the U.S. is not helping Syrian Christians in their fight against ISIS.

Jong notes that the U.S. gives aid to other anti-ISIS fighters, but does not help Christians.

ISIS has been increasingly losing ground in the Middle East but the battle for Mosul, Iraq continues, as well as the impending battle for Syria’s capital city of Raqqa.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)--an alliance of Kurds, Turkmen, Arabs, and Assyrian Christians--have been on the frontlines of the battle with ISIS. According to Jong, however, although the U.S. has armed certain factions of the SDF, they have not armed Christian fighters.

Assyrian Christians of the SDF have released a statement calling on the U.S. to treat them fairly and also provide them weapons.

“The fact that we suffered under genocides emphasizes the need for delivery of military equipment. If we are weak, we are a target of the extremist forces that the SDF is fighting against,” read their statement.

“We will be part of any operation against Raqqa, regardless of our current level of military equipment,” the statement continued. “We cannot imagine that the U.S. would deliberately want us to be more poorly equipped then our Arab partners when we go into that big battle.

We thank the US for the air support given in crucial battles and the support to the SDF. We also hope that this is an opportunity to work together for the long-term security and freedom of our people and all the peoples of the region.”


Publication date: April 6, 2017