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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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The situation in Iraq

Friday, August 15, 2014

The following was sent to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary


I am writing to you regarding the increasingly worrying situation in Iraq, particularly in the Kurdish region.

The murderous activities of the Islamic State (IS) and systematic persecution of minorities including the Assyrian, Chaldean, Christian and Yazidi peoples of Iraq must be stopped.

According to reports at least 5000 refugees remain stranded on Mount Sinjar, and yesterday the United Nations said it considered Iraq in general to be at the highest level of humanitarian crisis.

Whilst I welcome the continued humanitarian aid being provided by the UK - including £8 million for food, medical supplies, water and sanitation to over 100,000 people across Northern Iraq – and the use of RAF helicopters and planes to transport ammunition to the Kurds, I fear these actions alone will not be enough to keep the Yazidis alive, or prevent the spread of IS in the longer term.

We need to do much more to support the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) not just with humanitarian, but also with military and intelligence support. France has announced it will send arms to the Kurds to help them defend their territory, whilst the US has already carried out airstrikes across IS positions. I believe the UK should take similar action to arm and provide intelligence to the KRG forces.

The UK government played a leading role in helping the Kurds secure a safe haven in 1991. I hope the UK will use its influence now with the Iraqi government as well as the KRG to treat these ethnic groups as equal citizens of Iraq, and afford them the protection and security provided to Arabs and Kurds.

IS has flagrant disregard for international law and any recognised standards of human rights. Impotence from the UK and our allies now will only make them stronger, and their support more entrenched. The consequences of inaction will only be more destruction for the region, we cannot let that happen.

Yours etc


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