Christians kicked out of Nineveh Plain — again!

Nov 21st, 2017 | By | Category: Weekly Washington Updates, Featured

Refugees I met in Dohuk in June now forced out of homes: The Religious Freedom Coalition is assisting with the purchase of water for Odrana Camp in Dohuk, Iraq. The Christians in that camp are Assyrians who were forced from the northern areas of the Nineveh Plain by the Islamic State (ISIS). Those areas included the town of Telskuf, which for a while was occupied by the Islamic State and served as one of their strongholds in the Nineveh Plain.

Then, the town was leveled by American and Coalition aircraft after Navy Seal Charles Keating IV was killed there by a sniper. He was “advising” a Kurdish Peshmerga unit trying to capture the town from ISIS. Every Christian who has moved back since the Islamic State retreat knows and honors Keating’s name. About 1,000 Christians had recently moved back to Telskuf, including some from Odrana Camp, which our organization helps support in Dohuk.

Now, the Christians are being ordered to move out of Telskuf again! The area has been occupied by the Kurdish Peshmerga, even though it is not a Kurdish area. The Kurds are declaring they own it, and Iraq wants it back as a part of Iraq.  So the Christians lose out again.

Christian families have been forced to flee their homes and live in make shift camps.

Christian families have been forced to flee their homes and live in make shift camps.

All Christians were ordered to evacuate Telskuf again, to spare themselves being caught in the middle of a battle. The order came too late for some, who had already been killed or wounded in the crossfire.

Please help a Christian refugee child have a real Christmas

When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 to change the regime and install a “democracy,” there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. There are now only about 200,000. During my meeting with Patriarch John X,  I learned that one million Iraqi Christians fled to Syria as they were being robbed and killed by the roving bands of Sunni militias in Iraq. Only a couple of hundred thousand of the wealthiest made it to Europe and the United States.

American diplomacy operates on at most a four-year cycle. All our military efforts are to achieve short-term strategic goals and not long-term results. The Kurds were armed with advanced American weapons to achieve a short-term victory over the Islamic State, with no thought of what the weapons would be used for once the Islamic State was gone. When Kurdish leader Barzani declared independence from Iraq as the stated goal of Kurdistan, he also declared: “Our borders lie where our tanks stop.” Iraq took this as a declaration of war because the Kurds occupied oil fields well outside of Kurdistan.

Now the Christians are once again caught, with no guns, in the middle of a gun fight.

Please help a Christian refugee child have a real Christmas

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