Nashville Kurds Organize Efforts To Send Medical Supplies To Iraq

The Kurdish region in northeast Iraq is drawing refugees from the northwest, where a militant group has conquered several cities. Credit: Winkpolve / Wikimedia Commons

The Kurdish region in northeast Iraq is drawing refugees from the northwest, where a militant group has conquered several cities. Credit: Winkpolve / Wikimedia Commons

As President Obama authorized American warplanes to fight militants in northern Iraq, Kurdish-Americans are raising money to send over medical supplies.

The group Doctors for Kurdistan is working with the Salahadeen Center, a Muslim community center in South Nashville, to organize the relief efforts. They’re working with the Kurdish regional government in Washington, D.C., which will fly in medical supplies including IV fluids, band-aids and antibiotics.

Organizer Zaid Brifkani says the aid will also go toward refugees from other parts of Iraq.

“A lot of them have been stranded in the mountains for several days. They have been dehydrated; a lot of them have gotten sick,” he says. “At the same time, we also have people who are in the front line. A lot of them have been wounded.”

Kurds are trying to gain support to become independent from Iraq, citing injustices by the Iraqi government. Last month, Nashville’s Kurdish community held a rally downtown for the cause.

But although the U.S. is bringing military support to the Kurdish region, it has not endorsed its independence.

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