(CBS) – Hundreds of Assyrian Americans rallied in downtown Chicago Friday to raise awareness about Christians under threat by the Islamic militant group ISIS in Iraq.
The demonstration occurred as the U.S. launched a second round of airstrikes.
Iraqi Christians demonstrating in Daley Plaza were thankful for the action. For more than three hours, the Assyrians marched around Daley Plaza and chanted in their native tongue, “Long live Assyria.”
They demanded even more U.S. military action against Islamic militants who have trapped thousands of Iraqi civilians on a mountain without food or water.
Atorina Zomaya, an Assyrian American, said “a silent genocide” is happening to Christians in Iraq.
ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has established a beachhead in northern Iraq and is pushing south, surrounding the city of Erbil.
Later Friday, anti-war protesters at Federal Plaza say the U.S. should not be in Iraq at all.
They say renewed U.S. military action there is not about saving lives, but about re-asserting American power in the region.