U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is the only American politician who gives Christians hope in defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church.
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In an exclusive interview with RT, Patriarch Kirill shared his insight into the plight of Christians in the Middle East. Highlighting the ISIS atrocities in the region, he said driving the believers from the birthplace of Christianity is a crime against both religion and human rights. The Russian Patriarch also said erasing Christian communities will change governments' policies for sectarian balance because the need to maintain that balance will also disappear.
Patriarch Kirill recalled how nations collectively defeated the Nazi powers which once enslaved half of Europe, and said it "should be fairly easy to do away with ISIS" if only all countries work together. Unfortunately, it still has not happened, so he urged all Christians to pray that all the involved nations will realize the importance of collaboration.
"That's why I was glad to hear what US President-elect Mr. Trump said in this regard. He clearly underlined the necessity to tackle Islamist radicalism and terrorism. Hopefully that's the objective we will move towards, in terms of Russia-US relations as well," Patriarch Kirill told RT. "Terrorism poses a real threat for the entire world, including Russia, the Middle East, Western Europe, and the US, which was hit hard in the early 21st century. It's high time we pool ideas, join forces and co-operate to solve this problem that many countries and peoples are facing," he continued.
Meanwhile, the United States is training and assisting Iraqi and Kurdish troops in the efforts to retake Mosul, ISIS' last biggest stronghold in Iraq. Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend told CBS News that the battle for Mosul would challenge the U.S. army.
Trump, on the other hand, has criticized the U.S.-led coalition's offensive, saying it is difficult to keep a battle that size under wraps. The President-elect has instead suggested bombing "the hell out of them," an idea that Captain Matt Lyles struck down because of the danger of needlessly destroying houses and killing civilians.