Whether Parliament is recalled over the crisis in Iraq or not, nonetheless MPs will soon be returning to Westminster and without a doubt the issue will be among the top priorities of upcoming sessions.
This is why it is critical that our MPs – the people elected to represent you and your views – are not only informed properly about what is going on, but are also pushed to pressure the government and put our issues on the agenda. The media has followed events in Iraq closely. However, information about the greater impact of ISIS in Syria and the Middle East, the years of violence perpetrated by them against Rojava, the leading role of the YPG and PKK in the front against ISIS, the humanitarian efforts of Syrian Kurdish people and indeed, the existence of Rojava entirely, have been limited if not ignored completely in high-level discussions of how Britain should act in response to the crisis.
For the first time in two years, the vast humanitarian crisis caused by the brutality of ISIS against the Kurds has been thrust into the public eye, forcing the UK to make some critical decisions about how to act. This is in an opportunity to influence how government makes those decisions.
We’ve drafted a model letter which you can use to send to your local MP. You can simply add the date and sign it, or you can use this as a guide to write you own. There is also this KNK Information File for more information.
To find out who your local MP is, check here
You can download a model letter from here (word document), or write your own!
MODEL LETTER TO YOUR MP: Action on the threat from ISIS
As a member of your constituency, I am writing to you with great concern about the refugee crisis in Kurdistan, Iraq and Syria which has been provoked by the continuing murderous assaults by ISIS (also known as IS). The Kurds and Yezidis in particular are at present in the frontline against these ISIS attacks.
I would like to point out that the people of Rojava, which is the name of the self-administered Kurdish region of Syria, has been battling with ISIS for nearly two years with no assistance from the international community or local powers; in fact the neighbouring powers, Turkey especially, have impeded the resistance of Rojava against ISIS. This surely must now be stopped.
As regards the immediate threat to the Yezidis, there are conflicting and confusing reports about the fate of these Yezidi Kurds who fled to the Sinjar Mountains in a desperate attempt to escape death from the ISIS onslaught. The situation is changing all the time and urgent humanitarian assistance is required immediately. Emergency aid has been dropped to people held up in the mountains to provide some basic sustenance, but more help will be needed as families are settled in refugee camps in Kurdistan for what may be a very uncertain length of time.
I would like to inform you that as of 13 August around 12,000 refugees have been given refuge in the Newroz refugee camp in Rojava and that the authorities there expect many more people to come. All of these people are in great need of humanitarian aid, essential necessities of life such as food, medicine, clothing, including tents.
I welcome the fact that US President Obama has stated that he wants to defend the Kurds and Kurdistan. In this respect, however it should be understood that Kurdistan is divided into various parts in different countries, so that when Kurdistan is mentioned it does not simply mean the region of Iraq controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). The Kurdish regions of Syria under the popular control in Rojava are not being recognised and this is a great concern to us- the hand of friendship needs to be extended to all the Kurdish areas equally.
I would like to bring to your attention an appeal issued by the Executive Council of the Democratic Self Rule Administration in al Jazeera Canton in Rojava, Syria, which urges international community organisations with responsibilities for managing humanitarian crises to meet their moral obligations and support the Syrian Kurds in providing for the victims of ISIS and for all those who have been forcibly displaced.
The threat from ISIS is nothing new and certainly did not simply emerge from nowhere two weeks ago, although the scale of the immediate attack on the Yezidis has brought the threat from ISIS to the attention of the world. Other minorities such as Christians have also been coming under attack from ISIS for some time.
The leadership of the Kurds of Rojava in Syria have been warning about the dangers posed by ISIS for many months and have sought to alert the world to the covert support that ISIS has been receiving from powerful forces in countries such as Turkey and the Gulf states.
Rojava has been home to many thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict in Syria. As mentioned, Rojava is now giving refuge to many of the Yezidi Kurds who are fleeing from the current onslaught from ISIS. The people of Rojava who number Kurds, Arabs, Christians and Muslims, have taken swift action to assist the Yezidi refugees and they have continued to fight back against the ISIS attacks. But the pressures on the local population and the region’s resources are reaching breaking point. Emergency relief is urgently required. The aid that is being sent to other parts of the region is simply not getting through to Rojava.
The Kurdish people want to see a peaceful transformation and democratic resolution of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. They stand for a secular, democratic politics that offers hope out of these crises. The Kurds are firmly opposed to the terroristic Caliphate that ISIS seeks to impose on the peoples of the region. Practical and humanitarian support is urgently needed rather than more military intervention.
I want you to be aware of these facts and take appropriate action. Therefore as my elected representative I kindly request that you raise the issues above with colleagues and in Parliamentary meeting with urgency.