U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) issued a statement Friday on the ongoing unrest in the Middle East, as Turlockers continue to rally in support of those affected by the crisis.
“The world cannot tolerate the creation of a terrorist state in the heart of the Middle East,” said Denham in his statement. “Nor can we watch as some of the world’s most ancient religious communities are persecuted or destroyed. The Iraqi Christians and other minority groups are in desperate need of our aid, and many Central Valley residents have family members suffering under ISIS’ actions. I support the humanitarian airlift underway in Iraq as well as increased coordination with and support of the Kurdish Peshmerga and other security forces battling ISIS on the ground. We cannot stand idly by and watch as the Iraqi people endure labeling, targeting and ethnic cleansing based on religion. The risks of inaction and the likelihood of genocide are too great.”
Denham’s statement comes following a statement from President Barack Obama, in which he authorized two airstrikes in Iraq to “protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death."
Many Turlockers, including Denham, have been playing their part in supporting those affected by the crisis in Iraq. The Central Valley, and Turlock specifically, are known for their large Assyrian populations.
On Aug. 2, several Turlockers took a trip to San Francisco for a large rally at Justin Herman Plaza. The rally was a part of a nationwide protest of the ongoing persecution Christians and other minority religious groups have been facing in the Middle East. Denham also joined the protesters in San Francisco.
Even some of Turlock’s younger population did their part by hosting a “lemon-aid” stand outside of the Kabob Palace on Wednesday to raise money and awareness for the unrest. All proceeds raised from the stand went to the Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organization, which provides displaced families affected by the unrest in Iraq with food, water, shelter, and clothing, among other items.
Adrenna Alkhas, the mother of the children who came up with the idea of the stand and Marketing and Communication Director for the Stanislaus County Fair, said more stands will be hosted in September.
Courtesy of Adrenna Alkhas