ISIS' beheading of American journalist reveals "brutality"

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ISIS' beheading of American journalist reveals "brutality"

By Ken Pritchett/ AINA

The beheading of American journalist James Foley brought swift and strong words by US leaders.

"ISIS has not ideology or any value for human beings. Their ideology is bankrupt," said President Obama.

But, the video that shocked the American public showed a kind of brutality that Assyrian Christians in Iraq say they suffered since ISIS claimed significant territory in Iraq.

"From the Assyrian community I would like to give condolences to the Foley family. It's a loss for all of us," said Romena Jonas, a news anchor with San Jose based Assyrian National Broadcasting.

"That's typical of what ISIS does. And they are going to continue doing this," said Jonas.

There is a large population of Assyrian Christians that call the Central Valley and South Bay home.

Assyrians, indigenous to Iraq, have been forced to leave their homes by the hundreds of thousands to flee to the northern portions of that country controlled by Kurdish forces.

Here in the US, Assyrians have tried to raise public awareness of what they call genocide and ethnic cleansing at the hands of ISIS.

"It seemed like no one cared. No matter how many letters we wrote to congress, no matter how many rallies we went to it seemed like no one really cared," said Jonas.

That changed on August 8th when President Obama ordered airstrikes against ISIS forces moving closer to the Kurdish capitol of Erbil.

Since then, ISIS has suffered territorial losses.

Jonas says a friend in Erbil said US involvement has made a difference.

"He told us that since the air strikes, the Assyrians feel much more comfortable. They're not as afraid. It's like a savior has come to save them from getting killed."

Assyrians are seeking U.S. help to ultimately create a state in Iraq that they can call their own and defend against future threats such as ISIS.

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 14:21
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