Washington, D.C: October 7, 2019. (PCP) IDC is 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.
Should Turkey target the Christians or Yazidis in Syria, IDC will work with the Trump Administration and Congress to reinstate sanctions on Turkey immediately. When Turkey imprisoned Pastor Andrew Brunson, IDC worked with Congress to call for sanctions on Turkey, which the Administration successfully leveraged to free Pastor Brunson.
“President Erdogan has surely not forgotten the economic ramifications of sanctions due to the imprisoning Pastor Andrew Brunson, and as President Trump said today, we can do so again,” said Toufic Baaklini, President of IDC.
Religious minorities in Northeast Syria have reason to be wary of the Turkish government, especially after Turkey invaded Afrin in 2018 using Islamist militias and forced over 300 Christian families to flee. Many Yazidi communities were also targeted. Those affected remain displaced to this day.