Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP
Sir, over the past few days I have watched with horror at the events unfolding in Iraq. Only this morning I saw a video from the Iraqi parliament of a Yazidi MP making an impassioned plea for help for her community (link below).
The Yazidi and Christian populations, among others, are facing slaughter by IS (formerly ISIS).
Recently the Papal Nuncio issued a letter to Cardinal Vincent Nichols asking for him to offer assistance in spreading a request from Pope Francis that initiatives be undertaken to highlight the plight of these people, and to offer them help and support.
Mr Crabb, please, I urge you, speak out on their behalf in our parliament, that something may be done to rescue, protect or offer humanitarian support to these most vulnerable people.
Many of my parishioners are also duly concerned, and I am sure would welcome a statement from you on this matter.
I look forward to your reply and I offer you my prayers and support for your ministry of service.
I am, yours faithfully,
Fr Liam Bradley.
And here’s the reply:
Dear Father Liam,
Thank you for your recent email regarding the current situation in Iraq.
I too am appalled by the persecution of minority groups in the country and the desperate situation many of them face. The Prime Minister has strongly condemned the treatment of the minority Yazidi community who have been trapped on Mount Sinjar. The brutal events we have seen just in the last 48 hours underline again what an abhorrent force is at work in Iraq.
You may be aware that we are already providing humanitarian aid to the region. UK advisers have also been sent to cities under threat of occupation. We fully support the decision of the United States to agree to the Iraqi Government’s request for help in the form of targeted airstrikes. They have already destroyed some arms and equipment belonging to Islamic State, and have provided supplies to Kurdish forces who are opening a road for trapped Yazidis. While we are not joining the United States in a military capacity, we will be providing logistical support in terms of refuelling and surveillance.
Please be assured that my Ministerial colleagues will be monitoring the developing situation in Iraq very closely.
Thank you again for your email. If you would like to discuss this important matter further, please get in touch.