(JTA) — An official in a militia organized by Iraq’s Yazidi minority has issued a public call for Israeli assistance.
Lt. Col. Lukman Ibrahim, speaking to Al-Monitor, said the militia needs weapons and aid, and would like Israeli assistance so it can fight Islamic State, or ISIS. He said the Yazidis support Israel and fight similar enemies.
Israel has yet to respond to the Yazidi request.
The militia, with 12,000 members, was organized in August to defend against ISIS, which has persecuted and killed the minority since capturing Yazidi cities last year. Most of the fighters are untrained.
“We appeal to the Israeli government and its leader to step in and help this nation, which loves the Jewish people,” Ibrahim was quoted as saying by Al-Monitor. “We would be most grateful for the establishment of military ties — for instance, the training of fighters and the formation of joint teams. We are well aware of the circumstances the Israelis are in, and of the suffering they have endured at the hands of the Arabs ever since the establishment of their state. We, too, are suffering on account of them.”
A Yazidi doctor who lives in Germany said that Yazidis and Jews can also find common ground in both being victims of genocide.
“What happened to us is the biggest genocide since the Holocaust of the Jews in Europe,” said Dr. Mirza Dinnay, a pediatrician, told Al-Monitor. “In the Holocaust, the goal was to annihilate an entire people, the Jews. IS has a similar plan — to exterminate an entire people, the Yazidis.”