Crisis in Iraq

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Two years ago I visited the Irbil area of Iraq where this week we are witnessing thousands of people being persecuted and killed.

When I was there, I visited the mass graves of Kurdish people murdered by Saddam Hussein and spoke to many local people about their experiences over the past couple of decades. During that visit what astounded me most was the lack of bitterness from the Kurds; they truly were some of the nicest people I have ever met.

It is evident this part of Iraq could be very successful, with its vast natural resources and strong work ethic.  Unfortunately, the violence imposed upon the local people by Saddam Hussein, and now the IS (Islamic State) terrorists, has not only prevented the area reaching its potential, but now threatens its very existence. Religious minorities in the area are being hunted down by IS and slaughtered wherever they are found.

There must be an international effort to help the Yazidis and the Kurds to avoid a complete massacre.

This week the Government announced its focus was on alleviating the humanitarian suffering of those Iraqis targeted by IS terrorists.

To help this immediate crisis and those people trapped on Mount Sinjar, the Government is to deliver further aid drops in the coming days.

Getting aid to the right people through air drops is a very difficult process. There is no guarantee those most in need receive the help and all the time IS are trying to impose themselves on the region. The situation is very precarious. We cannot allow Irbil to fall to IS or we will witness further massacres of the local population.