Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Genocide, airstrikes: What next in the horror of Iraq?

The situation in the Middle East seems to be going from bad to worse, and the United States has been forced to intervene against Islamic extremists in Iraq to prevent the virtual genocide of Christians and other minorities.

However, America will strongly resist putting troops back on the ground in Iraq, while at the same time keeping itself ready to counter further attacks on innocent Christians and others in the front line of the conflict.

Some cynics might suggest that President Obama’s intervention is also prompted by the advance of the extremist Islamic troops to within a short distance of Arbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region and an important economic hub for American oil companies.

Nevertheless few people will quarrel with the humanitarian motives for intervening in a desperate situation where thousands of Christians and other minorities are facing annihilation.

Something had to be done urgently to halt this genocide, and although President Obama has made it clear that he has no wish to make America once again the world’s policeman, he had little choice but to help the helpless in

face of such an onslaught.

The militants of the new ISIS group, now called IS, have beheaded and crucified captives in recent weeks in their drive to eradicate Christianity, and they must be stopped from carrying out such evil objectives.

Sadly, it has been clear for some time that Christian groups are among the most persecuted in the world, not least in the Middle East and parts of Africa, and much more needs to be done by powerful nations to combat this extensive form of ethnic cleansing.

The world is facing the threat of militant Islam on a huge scale, and there can be no complacency about the objectives of these extremists.

The continuing conflict in the Middle East now threatens to tear Iraq apart, with further dangerous consequences.

The United States was right to intervene with air strikes to protect the innocents in Iraq but there is no knowing what this latest upheaval will do to the Middle East. It is all extremely worrying.

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