(CBS) — Dozens of passionate demonstrators gathered in Chicago’s federal plaza Friday and asked that U.S. troops intervene to protect 200,000 Assyrian Christians whom they believe have been displaced by ISIS invaders.

Margaret Khamoo, president of the Assyrian American Aid Society, says there’s no sign that ISIS is being bothered much by allied air strikes.

She says her group believes the only way to protect Assyrian Christians and other minorities in the area is with direct U.S. intervention.

Khamoo concedes the U.S. is reluctant to commit ground forces, but she says that’s the only way stability will ever be restored to the region.

Assyrians are the original people from the area, which is central between Turkey, Iraq and Syria.

Several Chicago police officers on bicycles kept a close eye on the gathering, which remained peaceful under the bright Calder Sculpture on Dearborn between Adams and Jackson.