Iraqi Peshmerga is now joining fight against IS in Kobani

The link is a report from Reuters. The Peshmerga has just arrived at the Syrian border to fight IS in Kobani.

Peshmerga means “those who face death.” After a week the Iraqi Peshmerga forces have joined their fellow Kurds in Kobani, a town at the border of Turkey, to fight the ISIS.

 Peshmerga have protected Iraqi / Kurdish Catholics

In 2013 Carmen Eckhardt (reporting for DW) did a documentary on Christians being persecuted in Iraq: intimidation, kidnapping, murder and beheadings by Islamist Fundamentalist. Violence began around 2003. She landed in Irbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region in Northern Iraq. Just last year Catholics from Mosul fled to Kurdistan when persecutions began. There the Kurdish government and its Peshmerga force protected them. These Catholics have been living in Iraq for around two thousand years and have recently lived peacefully with Muslims and other religions, which are of course their fellow Kurds and Iraqis, until the ISIS rose.

When I heard the news about Catholics being persecuted in Iraq a few months ago, I have begun to think about how young our Catholicism is in the Philippines. Ours is just about 500 years old, Iraqi Christians 2, 000 years old. For now we pray that the Iraqi Peshmergas would be of definite help in liberating Kobani and in stopping ISIS.

United States and its allies must be firm this time not to put ground forces in Iraq – no, not another mistake. Let our brothers and sisters there fight their own fight. Iraqi, Syrian, Kurds and the rest, however, definitely need our support and prayers. For peace.

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