Thousands of Christians, Kurds and Yazidis are fleeing parts of Syria as violence continues between Turkey’s forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces.
This week, the White House announced that American soldiers would be pulled out of northern Syria. Along with the announcement, Turkey moved its forces into northern Syria, CBN News reports.
The group In Defense of Christians, said they are “deeply concerned for the Christian and Yazidi communities of Northeast Syria should the Republic of Turkey move into the region.
“There are over 40,000 Christians in the Northeast, which is a dramatic decrease from the 130,000 Christians who lived in this area before the impact of ISIS and the Syrian Crisis,” the statement from the group said.
A Catholic archbishop in Ebril, Iraq previously said that pulling U.S. troops from any hostile areas would lead to more violence against Christians, the Catholic News Agency reports.
“We are gravely concerned regarding the recent draw down of the U.S. presence in Iraq,” the archbishop said.
“Having faced genocide at the hands of ISIS, our shattered communities have drawn immense hope from the promise of the American commitment to Iraqi minority communities spearheaded by the vice president.”
The archbishop was referring to a 2017 promise from Vice President Mike Pence, who said the U.S. would protect persecuted Christians and minorities.
“The United States will work hand in hand from this day forward with faith-based groups and private organizations to help those who are persecuted for their faith. This is the moment, now is the time, and America will support these people in their hour of need,” Pence said.
According to CBN News, Christian soldiers with the Syrian Democratic Forces have been going to churches to pray and kiss the Bible before going to fight.
Trump said the decision to remove American troops is not about “abandoning” Kurdish soldiers.
“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),” he tweeted.
As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019
He said that could include sanctions on the country.
“We won, we left the area. I don’t think we want to go back in. Let’s see what happens. We are going to possibly do something very, very tough with respect to sanctions and other financial things,” Trump concluded.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.