American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO) Calls on Assyrians Worldwide to Support the Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU)

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Assyrian Christians deploy the first Battalion of the newly established Nineveh Plain Protection Units to defend the area against IS threat.

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Left with no option but to provide for their own defense and security, Assyrian Christians and Yezidis are organizing their own defense forces.

The American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO) is calling on the US and the international community to immediately support the Assyrian Democratic Movement ("ZOWAA") as it organizes and deploys the Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU) in the towns and villages under Assyrian control. Furthermore, AMO calls on all Assyrians in diaspora to help fund the training, arming and deploying of NPU forces in order to further secure the Nineveh Plain region, protect its inhabitants, and provide security for the resettlement of its historical lands.

In June, 2014, when extremists decreed the world's Muslims were to be known as the Islamic State (IS) and invaded Northern Iraq, the Iraqi military and the Kurdish Peshmerga fled, leaving the Assyrian population of the Nineveh Plain to fend for itself, resulting in a mass exodus of tens of thousands of Assyrian Christians to the Nohadra (Duhok) and Arbil provinces. (1)

Immediately after IS took over the city of Mosul, the American Mesopotamian Organization called on the international community to protect the vulnerable and unarmed Assyrian Christian and Yezidis population of the Nineveh Plain and the Sinjar regions from the jihadists.

American Mesopotamian Organization Chairman, David William Lazar, observes, "The international community did not respond, and hundreds of thousands of Assyrian and Yezidi civilians were driven from their homes, taking refuge in churches, schools and empty buildings in the cities of Nohadra (Duhok) and Arbil. Many not able to find shelter have been forced outside and now live and sleep on the sidewalks and under freeway bridges. Some global humanitarian organizations have responded, but the bulk of the assistance is being shouldered by the Assyrian Aid Society of Iraq and a few local religious organizations. As IS has advanced across Iraq, the Iraqi military and the Kurdish militias have retreated, and the international community was slow to respond. US air strikes began only when IS threatened the Kurdish city Arbil." (2,3)

Lazar continues, "Now that the Iraqi state is in shambles and the Kurdish Regional Government is itself seeking international protection from IS, the Assyrian Christians and the Yezidis find themselves alone without an international advocate or military protection. Therefore, left with no option but to provide for their own defense and security, Assyrian Christians and Yezidis are organizing their own defense forces, and the American Mesopotamian Organization is calling on the United States and international community to aid and support them by all means available."

About the American Mesopotamian Organization
The American Mesopotamian Organization believes that the Assyrian American community can be instrumental in bringing about change to US policy towards the Assyrians of the Middle East. We strive to be part of this change and part of the solution in defending Assyrian political and human rights throughout the Near East. While we will represent the collective Assyrian American viewpoint on matters of public policy, we will also serve as liaison between the community and their elected leaders. For more information, please visit http://www.americanmesopotamian.org.

(1) "Has Last Christian Left Iraqi City of Mosul After 2,000 Years?" "http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/iraq-turmoil/has-last-christian-left-iraqi-city-mosul-after-2-000-n164856" 7/27/2014

(2) "With ISIS on the doorstep, Erbil welcomes U.S. airstrikes" "http://www.cbsnews.com/news/with-isis-on-the-doorstop-erbil-welcomes-u-s-airstrikes/" 8/8/2014

(3) "Iraqi Christian village takes the fight to IS" "http://www.dw.de/iraqi-christian-village-takes-the-fight-to-is/a-17990167 10-13-2014

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David William Lazar

Helen Talia
American Mesopotamian Organization
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