Iraqi community leader praises Obama for action against Sunni militants

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EL CAJON, Calif. — A leader in eastern San Diego County’s large Iraqi community immediately hailed President Obama’s decision Thursday night to send aid to Yazidi people.

Obama ordered a humanitarian mission to support the endangered members of the Yazidi religious minority and to authorize airstrikes if Islamic militants threaten Americans and others in the Kurdish capital of Irbil in northern Iraq.

mark_arabo“This is a step in the right direction for our global community,” said Mark Arabo. “We commend President Obama for referring to this massacre as a targeted genocide.”

Arabo, 31, national spokesman for Iraqi Chaldeans and chief executive of the Neighborhood Market Assn., has led an effort to lobby the Obama administration to take action against Sunni militants who have used violence to take control of a large swath of Iraq.