Kurdistan

INSIDE KURDISTAN'S REFUGEE CAMPS: A REPORT FROM RESCUE TASK FORCE

 

 

 

 

 

Rescue Task Force, a nonprofit international rescue organization that started in East County, now has a team in Kurdistan/Iraq assisting the refugees there. It has been difficult even for major international media to get reports from inside this region, since many news organizations have pulled out their correspondents after the beheading of two journalists by ISIS terrorists (also known as ISIL or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Today we received this report from Gary Becks, founder and president of RTF, on the situation he and his team have found there as they work to assist religious minorities forced to flee their homes.

By Gary Becks

October 5, 2014 (Kurdistan)--Less than one mile separated us from ISIS.  It was too close for comfort, but it was where comfort was needed the most.  One of our RTF mottos is: We Go To Where Others Will Not, To Do What Others Will Not’.

In the Nineveh region of Kurdistan (Iraq) there are formal refugee camps set up in proximity to major cities to help the one million two hundred thousand displaced people.

Out here in the hinterland, though, there are tens of thousands of refugees who fled from ISIS into these countryside areas where they had connections and/or to where they feel safer than in the large metropolitan camps.

RESCUE TASK FORCE HEADS OVERSEAS TO AID IRAQI CHRISTIAN REFUGEES: $20,000 IN DONATIONS SOUGHT FOR RELIEF EFFORT

 

Photo:  At a recent rally in El Cajon, thousands of local Iraqi Christians implored America to send help for their families in Iraq fleeing genocide

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—Rescue Task Force, an international aid group that started in East County, announced today that it will send a multi-national team of veteran disaster responders to help refugees displaced in Kurdistan by ISIS or Islamic State terrorists. The RTF volunteers will bring medical and dental help along with humanitarian supplies.

The group will meet up in California with leaders Gary Becks and Larry Cutting. They will travel to Erbil and then trek to northern Kurdistan.

To date, 1.2 million people have survived the initial slaughter by ISIS forces and have fled to safe havens in Erbil and Kurdistan, faced with a stark choice of fleeing, converting to Islam, or being beheaded.  Most fled with only the clothes on their backs.

LOCAL KURDS RALLY TO PROTEST ISIS TERRORIST ATTACKS: HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH A LOCAL KURDISH-AMERICAN WITH FAMILY IN TURMOIL

 

 Hear our interview with  a local Kurdish-American woman whose family is caught up in the tragic actions unfolding in Kurdistan under the ISIS assault. Listen online now: (This interview originally aired on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ  radio 89.1 FM)

 

Anguish hits home for local Kurdish residents

By Miriam Raftery

August 15, 2014 (San Diego) – “This is a great humanitarian tragedy, and another genocide against the Kurdish nation,” Kurdish-American Amina (who asked that her last name be withheld) told East County Magazine.  She is horrified at news reports of beheadings, mass graves and the kidnapping of young girls as sex slaves by ISIS terrorists who have laid siege to the city of Shingal and trapped 100,000 refugees atop the Shingal Mountain. She is also frightened by what she is hearing from relatives in the region.

"No one feels safe there. People are hopeless,” she says.

Now the crisis has impacted her own family, like many of the 4,000 to 5,000 Kurdish people in the San Diego region and 15,000 Kurds in the U.S. overall. 

“The Kurdish people know that their dear Peshmarga do not have weapons to defend them from these barbarians, and this makes them live and die in fear. We hear that the Kurdish government is asking people (one of them being my brother) to find themselves weapons and join the Peshmarga,” she wrote in an e-mail to East County Magazine. “Sadly, most people do not have weapons, so if they go to war, they will go with bare hands.”

Audio: 

KURDISH-AMERICANS CELEBRATE FREEDOM IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Leon Thompson

April 23, 2014 (Lakeside) --At El Monte Park in Lakeside on March 29, the Kurdish people celebrated Kurdistan’s independence and the Kurdish New Year.  

According to Chinar Hussein who helped start the Kurdish Community Center in El Cajon it is fitting that the two events be celebrated together since it is like a “new beginning” for the Kurdish people.  She said one reason the occasion was so joyous is because this particular celebration is forbidden in their homeland, Kurdistan, a mountainous region that encompasses portions of  northern Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria.