Article from the Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star
The United States is indirectly responsible for the violence in Iraq that has seen more than half of the Christian population displaced, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako said Thursday, after a media report quoted him saying "America is behind ISIS."
“The U.S. is indirectly responsible for what is going on in Iraq as it said it would ensure democracy and the well-being of the people, but 10 years have passed and on the contrary we have gone backward,” Sako told reporters at Beirut's airport.
He was responding to a question following remarks attributed to him in the local daily Ad-Diyar in which he accused the U.S. of supporting ISIS.
“Iraq has been divided ... and the Americans left Iraq in the midst of a vacuum where there was no army to protect [the people] and ISIS and these jihadist groups have been present for four years,” he said, before boarding a plane to Iraq.
“There were about 1 million Christians in Iraq and more than half of them have been displaced. Only 400,000 are left while displacement is still rising,” Sako added.
Sako was quoted as telling Ad-Diyar that “America is behind ISIS, which is the crime of the century, and they want to brazenly displace Christians from their homes and churches.”
“The West watched us and it seemed they have ignored our suffering,” he said. “But we will not leave our land, whatever the sacrifices.”
Sako had also criticized Muslim countries for lack of support.
“Our Muslim neighbors did not help us,” he said, as he urged Muslim preachers to issue a religious ruling against the killing of all innocent people.
“Issuing a fatwa preventing Muslims from killing fellow Muslims is not enough,” Sako said.
He also slammed Wednesday’s meeting that gathered Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai with representatives of the five permanent members at the U.N. Security Council.
“They were not helpful. We don’t want statements,” he said of the meeting, which he also attended, in Bkirki, the seat of the Maronite Church.
A delegation of Hezbollah politburo [the Lebanese political and resistance movement] on Thursday visited the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Rouphael Sako I, "to voice full solidarity
with the Christians of Iraq and rejection of all forms of displacement and practices that do not comply with the values and instructions of Islam."
"We must all stand against this takfiri climate that
seeks to eliminate the humanitarian and religious pluralism in the East and to rule through carnage and terror," the delegation, comprised of Ghaleb Abu Zeinab and Mustafa Hajj Ali, indicated
during the meeting.
"We must rely on ourselves first, because the indifference of the international community and pushing people to migration are just another face to sap diversity in the region," the delegation added.Original article here.
“America is responsible for what happened to the Christians in the East. And the patriarchs did not beg Arabs nor others to instill [peoples’] rights,” Sako said. Original article here.
Extract of an article from the Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star: Eastern Church Patriarchs meet with permanent U.N. Security Council members Rai and the patriarchs of Eastern churches raised the alarm at a meeting with envoys of the five permanent Security Council members and the U.N. secretary-general’s representative in Lebanon Wednesday during which they appealed for international action to stop the slaughter of Christians at the hands of militants from ISIS.
The Maronite patriarch led a delegation of church leaders who visited Iraq earlier this month to show solidarity with thousands of Christians who had fled the advance of the Islamist militants in Mosul. Full article here.
The General Consul of Palestine in Erbil, Kurdish Iraq Ambassador Nazmi Hazzouri on Monday 24th of August visited the headquarters of Chaldean cultural society in Ankawa and met with the coordination body for civil society organizations. After the meeting, the Ambassador and delegation went to one of the centers for the displaced and met with those who through tragic circumstances had to leave their homes and their property. He offered a message of solidarity from the Palestinian community. He also rejected and condemned terrorist crimes. News via ankawa.com, the Assyrian news outlet.