Thousands of Iraqi Christians seeking help in Erbil

(Vatican Radio) The U.S. launched a new airdrop today to aid Iraqi minority groups who fled the advance of the Islamic militants this week. The extremists have captured hundreds of women from the Yazidi religious minority, according to an Iraqi official, while thousands of other civilians have fled in fear. The group has also demanded Christians either convert to Islam or pay a special tax.

Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview with Dominican Sister Nazik Matty speaking from the city of Erbil.

Thousands of Christians have made their way to the Kurdish city of Erbil which is trying to accommodate the massive influx of people.

“Well, honestly it’s a mess. People are in the street, they don’t know what to do, where to go and it is calamitous for everybody because really everybody in involved…” says Dominican Sister Nazik Matty who is assisting those who are arriving in search of humanitarian aid.

She goes on to say that she hopes that something will be done for these people “because it is a disaster for everybody, it is not a situation for people to stay in the street, it is too hot here, I don’t know how much they can tolerate.”

Speaking about the extremists campaign of terror U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, Their “campaign of terror against the innocent, including the Yazidi and Christian minorities, and its grotesque and targeted acts of violence bear all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide”. “For anyone who needed a wake-up call, this is it.”