Sangari, head of the Near East Center for Strategic Engagement, speaks about the continued plight of Dwekh Nawsha* as ISIS has unleashed a savage and deadly wave of persecution against Christians and other religious minorities throughout Iraq and Syria.
Retired Lt. Col. Sargis Sangari, who was deployed to Iraq during his 20-year career in the U.S. Army, is one of the Americans advising the Assyrian Army, known as Dwekh Nawsha, which means “self-sacrifice” in the ancient Aramaic language used by Jesus and still spoken by the Assyrian Christians.
According to Sangari, the Assyrian military force, which is primarily based in Iraq’s Assyrian Nineveh plain, is closely aligned with the strategic goals and aspirations of the United States.
Lieutenant Colonel Sargis Sangari was born and raised in Rezaiyeh (Urmia), Iran. He immigrated to the United States in 1980 at age ten after the Iranian Revolution.
LTC Sangari received a two-year Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship and began his Army service in 1994 after graduating from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, earning a Bachelors of Science in Political Science and receiving a commission in the Infantry. After completing the Infantry Officer Basic Course, he was assigned to 1st Battalion, 506 Infantry Regiment (Air Assault), Camp Greaves and Camp Giant Korea, where he served as a two-time Rifle Platoon Leader.
LTC Sangari deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia in support of Operation Joint Endeavor as the principle staff advisor for Chief of Staff Military Operations for U.S. Forces and National Agencies force protection for Implementation Forces (IFOR) and Stabilization Forces (SFOR) and the theater safety officer for all of Theater SFOR.
*Dwekh Nawsha, an Iraqi-Christian paramilitary force based in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. Dwekh Nawsha is one of the major Assyrian Christian militias fighting genocide at the hands of ISIS.