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Angelina Jolie’s NYT Op-Ed Reveals Suffering of Refugees Under ISIS

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Following a weekend visit to Northern Iraq, Unbroken director Angelina Jolie published an op-ed piece in The New York Times Tuesday describing the living conditions of refugees and requested more action for the humanitarian crisis created by ISIS.

Jolie, a special envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, visited Northern Iraq this past weekend, where she toured Khanke Camp, a site holding thousands of exiled families that were forced to leave their homes in Mosul after the invasion of the Islamic State.

In addition to visiting with the families, Jolie addressed hundreds of politicians and refugees where she challenged world leaders to take action against radical Islam.

“It is not enough to defend our values at home. We have to defend them here, in the camps and in the informal settlements across the Middle East, and in the ruined towns of Iraq and Syria,” she said at a weekend press conference.

Tuesday, just days after her visit, Jolie writes about the experience in a personal essay. Her statement partially reads:

Stories of terror, barrel bombs and massacres have acquired an awful familiarity. There is a great temptation to turn inward, to focus on our own troubles.

But the plain fact is we cannot insulate ourselves against this crisis. The spread of extremism, the surge in foreign fighters, the threat of new terrorism — only an end to the war in Syria will begin to turn the tide on these problems. Without that, we are just tinkering at the edges.

At stake are not only the lives of millions of people and the future of the Middle East, but also the credibility of the international system. What does it say about our commitment to human rights and accountability that we seem to tolerate crimes against humanity happening in Syria and Iraq on a daily basis?

Read Jolie’s entire statement here.


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