Since June 18, the northern Iraqi town of Amirli has been besieged by the ISIS militants. While anti-jihadist forces came within just two miles of the town, its 20,000 mostly Shiite Turkmen residents remain without power, food, or medicine.
According to the U.N. Special Representative to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, “The situation of the people in Amirli is desperate and demands immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens.”
Since the beginning of Iraq War in 2003, the country’s Turkic-speaking ethnic minority has been mostly forgotten. While Iraqi Turkmen are mostly Sunni Muslim, the Shiite Turkmen have been systematically targeted by ISIS.
As an American of Turkic heritage, I urge the U.S. government to take immediate steps toward ending the ISIS siege of Amirli and to help protect the security of Iraq’s Turkic minority.
Sevilay Baydir, Dania Beach