ISIS could succeed in exterminating Christians and Yazidis from ancient homelands, says former U.S. congressman

The Islamic State could succeed in its goal to wipe out Christians and Yazidis from their ancient homelands if nothing is done to help provide the immediate needs of these minorities in Iraq, according to former U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf.

(REUTERS / Hyungwon Kang)U.S. Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) speaks with Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) (obscured) during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 18, 2011.

In his testimony before House and the Senate last week, Wolf highlighted the deplorable situation of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq which he witnessed during his recent visit to Mosul, Mt. Sinjar, and Sinjar City. At the end of his report, he enumerated four recommendations for U.S. action on the issue, Religion News Service relayed.

First, Wolf said the government needs to see the situation in Iraq with "fresh eyes" so that it can craft policies that will allow the giving of humanitarian aid without jeopardizing the national security interests of the United States. He also called on President Donald Trump to issue a directive that will prompt the State Department and USAID to act swiftly on the needs of the genocide victims in the Middle East.

In addition, Wolf said the White House should organize and assign an inter-agency coordinator that will make sure that the persecuted minorities are adequately protected and provided with their needs. Lastly, he said the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act should be passed immediately by Congress.

Stephen Rasche, the legal counsel and director of IDP Resettlement Programs for the Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil, also testified at the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing held on Tuesday. He accused the U.S. of "financing the spoils of genocide" and said the reconstruction aid program has benefited Muslims who occupied the towns once home to Iraqi Christians, The Christian Post reported.

Rasche reiterated his previous warning that Iraqi Christians desperately need aid, or else they could ultimately disappear from the Nineveh Plains. He also observed that although his warning was made more than a year ago, the Trump administration brought little improvement to the situation.