U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the humanitarian situation in Iraq. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Conducting military airstrikes against ISIL is a good step toward preventing this brutal terrorist group from expanding its reach in Iraq and possibly into neighboring countries, but this action from the White House is long overdue. For months, the Iraqi government has pleaded with the Administration to get engaged in Iraq and provide air support to combat the menacing threat of ISIL that is now endangering Erbil.
"The Kurds have been reliable allies of the U.S. in Iraq, and are outgunned, so they need our support to fight back against ISIL, which continues to threaten the lives of religious minorities as Christian towns are being overrun and Iraqi Christians are being forced to choose between being executed or renouncing their religion and converting to Islam. Just like we should have acted in Syria long ago, millions of people in Iraq are suffering and are looking to the United States for help and we must answer the call to prevent a possible genocide.
"The U.S. must take all appropriate and necessary measures to prevent the threat of ISIL from spilling over to neighboring countries like Jordan and Lebanon that can cause further destabilization in the region and to protect the national security interests of the United States of combatting terrorism."