Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | Walid Phares | ISIS | Yazidi

'Desperate' Yazidi Sheik Calls Walid Phares: 'We Need Immediate Help'

By Melissa Clyne   |   Monday, 11 Aug 2014 12:52 PM

The "desperate" leader of the Yazidi community surrounded by ISIS atop Mount Sinjar used his remaining cellphone minutes to call Middle East expert Walid Phares in the United States late Sunday, begging for help, Phares told Newsmax TV on Monday.

"The sheik, who is the head of this Yazidi population, called me at midnight, and he said, 'I only have few minutes left of my cellphone, and I am urging you to be in touch with or to have a call to members of Congress, to the administration. We need immediate help,'" Phares recounted on "America's Forum." 

"Of course, we can hear those strikes happening, but we have 100,000 people here without food, without water, and more importantly, we are encircled by ISIS who are trying, over the past few hours, to climb that mountain. So we need action there in Sinjar."

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"He was saying that the condition of children and elderly is very bad, that ISIS, despite [air] strikes, are trying to find ways to get up to the mountain and then continue with the massacres. So the emergency is now," Phares said, adding that it is urgent that the Air Force surround the mountain and fire on Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to stop the genocide.

Additionally, Phares said, the United States needs "to find a path to withdrawal, to pull out these populations from that mountain, which is completely isolated, either by airlift or by securing a road," he said. "It's very important that ISIS is not able to maintain and build its infrastructure in the zones of the minorities that it had ethnic-cleansed."

The Kurds and other minorities in the region need help to form their own brigades, Phares said, "because when they're going to come back, they have to be armed and trained as well under the Kurdistan government."

Sen. Ron Johnson, appearing with Phares on "America's Forum," said efforts to assist the Yazidis need to be stepped up, otherwise the United States will find ISIS on its doorstep.

"It's pretty obvious. This is really a moment of moral clarity," the Wisconsin Republican said. "It's the job of the president to make the moral case that what we are fighting in ISIS or ISIL, whatever you want to call these people, is evil, sheer evil. They are going to commit genocide if they're allowed to continue. They will bring the fight to America."

Phares said he also received reports from inside Baghdad that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has sent troops to surround the palace of the newly elected Kurdish president. The government there is at odds.

"We have a situation in Baghdad that is not really helpful to form any new unity government with the Sunnis because now the Shia themselves are in disagreement," Phares said.

"The Shia opposition to Mr. Maliki don't want him, but what is behind all that scene is Iran. Iran wants Mr. Maliki to stay because he is catering to Iranian influence ... "

Phares said the Obama administration should not only be pressuring Maliki, but working with his opposition.

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