Local Chaldean leader reacts to US strikes in Iraq - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Local Chaldean leader reacts to US strikes in Iraq

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Local Chaldean leaders are responding to President Obama's decision to confront Islamic militants in Iraq. 

Earlier this week, the United States started launching air strikes in Iraq to confront militant violence.

Saturday, the president proposed a long-term strategy for Iraq.

“This is a full blown genocide - the world needs to act,” Mark Arabo said. 

Mark Arabo is a local Chaldean leader who has been calling for US involvement against militants in Iraq for nearly two months.

“They're systematically wiping off the oldest Christians in the history of the world,” Arabo said. 

Islamic extremists known as ISIS or ISIL have marched into northern Iraq and targeted religious minority groups.

FA-18 fighter jets have dropped bombs on militant targets since Thursday.

On Saturday, the US military also sent a second humanitarian air drop of food and water to thousands of Iraqis stranded in mountains.

President Obama told reporters at the White House that the US airstrikes in Iraq will be a long-term project.

"I don't think we're going to solve this problem in weeks, if that's what you mean. I think this is going to take some time," President Obama said. 

Next for Mark Arabo is a visit to the United Nations next week to plead for more countries to follow France's lead and offer asylum to Iraqi Christians.

“My goal on Wednesday at the U.N. will be to make a case for these stateless people to find a home for them and to immediately get them out of harms way,” Arabo said. 

Many Iraqi families were forced from their homes and told to covert to Islam, pay a tax, or face death.

Thousands wait for humanitarian air drops from the top of the Sinjar Mountains.

“We feel confident that we can prevent ISIL from going up a mountain and slaughtering the people who are there,” President Obama said. 

They may not be stranded there for too much longer if Mark Arabo is successful is getting the world to act quickly.

“We're going to ask country by country - Italy, Germany, Australia - find a home for these people,” Arabo said. 

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