AINA Editorial
Increasing Calls for Military Intervention to Save Assyrians and Yazidis
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Assyrian march at the UN headquarters in Ankawa, north of Arbel, to demand protection from ISIS.
(AINA) -- Assyrians leaders in Iraq and in the Diaspora, as well as the Vatican, NGOs and concerned citizens, are calling for military intervention in Iraq to save Assyrians and Yazidis from the ongoing genocide by ISIS. Since capturing Mosul on June 10 ISIS has driven 200,000 Assyrians and 150,000 Yazidis from their homes, killed thousands of Yazidis and Assyrians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs), destroyed all churches in Mosul and looted and plundered entire towns and villages that were abandoned by the fleeing Assyrians and Yazidis.

See Timeline of ISIS in North Iraq

Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako has called for military intervention. In a statement issued on August 10 the Patriarch says,

To summarize the situation of the Christian villages around Mosul up to the borders of Kurdistan Region: the churches are deserted and desecrated; five bishops are out of their bishoprics, the priests and nuns left their missions and institutions leaving everything behind, the families have fled with their children abandoning everything else! The level of disaster is extreme.

The position of the American president Obama only to give military assistance to protect Erbil is disappointing. The talks about dividing Iraq are threatening. The Americans are not up to a rapid solution to give hope specifically as they are not going to attack the ISIS in Mosul and in the Nineveh Plain.

In a statement issued on August 13 the Patriarch explicitly calls for military aid, saying,

...the Unites States of America, also due to their prior involvement in Iraq, the European Union, and the league of Arab countries have the responsibility to act rapidly for a solution. They must clear the Nineveh Plain from all the elements of Jihadist Warriors and help these displaced families return to their ancestral villages and reconstitute their lives so they can conserve (sic) and practice their religion, culture and traditions...

Calls for military intervention have also come from the Vatican. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, The Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations, urged the international community to provide military and political protection for Christians persecuted by ISIS.

Ms. Pascale Warda, President of Baghdad based Hammurabi Human Rights Organization (HHRO) and former Minister of Displacement and Migration for Iraq, supported Patriarch Sako's call for military aid, saying the liberation of the Nineveh Plain is the only solution. "There is a moral, political and cultural responsibility," she said, "for all Iraqis, the international community and the United Nations to adopt the Patriarch's call, because it is the only way to preserve the identity of minorities, safeguard Iraqi history and ensure peace for all Iraqi groups."

In Sweden, home to 100,000 Assyrians, the president of the Assyrian Federation of Sweden, Afram Baryakoub, issued the following statement:

We ask the international community to immediately intervene militarily to secure the Nineveh plain. With each day that goes by the hope of continued existence for the Assyrians in Iraq is dying.

Yesterday 38 prominent professors from Catholic universities in America signed a plea to end the genocide in Iraq, saying,

It is imperative that the United States and the international community act immediately and decisively to stop the ISIS/ISIL genocide and prevent the further victimization of religious minorities. This goal cannot be achieved apart from the use of military force to degrade and disable ISIS/ISIL forces.

In the Netherlands, home to 60,000 Assyrians, the president of the Assyrian Foundation Netherlands, Dr. Matay Arsan, issued the following statement:

The Assyria Foundation in the Netherlands calls for immediate international millitary intervention in Nineveh Plains and Mosul to save the Assyrian Christian towns and inhabitants from the occupation and genocide by I.S. We call for the immediate implementation of a Safe Haven and training of Assyrian Christian soldiers and policemen to defend this region in the future.

The Assyrian Universal Alliance, a worldwide umbrella organization, issued the following statement through its Deputy Secretary General in Australia, Hermiz Shahen:

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Assyrians are currently displaced and forced out of their homes and towns. Women, children and the elderly have left their homes and are continually on the move-from city to city, village to village, seeking safety. We are informed by our representatives in the region that the situation continues to go from bad to worse; people are living in great fear and confusion, without any hope for a brighter and better future. Jihadists moved in overnight to claim several Christian towns, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee, having pushed back Kurdish Peshmerga troops, who are stretched thin across several fronts in Iraq. Towns of Baghdede (Qaraqosh), Tel Kepe, Bartella, Alqoosh and Karamles have been emptied of their original inhabitants and are now under the control of the militants. As many as 40,000 people from Iraq's religious minority groups are stranded on Mount Sinjar after seizure of their city by the Islamic State; most of them are members of the Yazidi community. Accordingly, We call on the International community and the UN Security Council, to support resolutely for military action in Iraq to protect Assyrian Christians and other religious minorities from persecution by brutal Islamic Jihadists.

We call for the immediate intervention of the United Nations, the international community and the Australian Government to endorse and to assist in the establishment of a self-administered safe haven in the Assyrian heartland in Northern Iraq in support of the indigenous Christian Assyrian and many other ethnic and religious minorities fleeing the sectarian conflict in Iraq.

We request that immediate financial assistance be provided to the Assyrians to address the very basis of the acute humanitarian needs of the internally displaced Assyrian refugee population. Particularly, we request the provision of basic need including food, water and medical care for the entire community.

Assyrians in Iraq are willing to defend their land. To this end they are pleading with the Australian government, and international community, to provide them with defence facilities and training to enable them to protect themselves. Only in this way can the ancient Assyrians and indigenous people of Iraq be able to remain in their homeland and not be once again forced into exile.

Since capturing Mosul on June 10, ISIS has moved into the Nineveh Plain, attacking Assyrians, Yazidis, Shabaks and Turkmen, destroying religious institutions and killing thousands.

  • There are no Assyrians/Christians remaining in Mosul, all have fled to the north, to Alqosh, Dohuk and other Assyrian villages.
  • All Christian institutions in Mosul (churches, monasteries and cemeteries), numbering 45, have been destroyed, occupied, converted to mosques, converted to ISIS headquarters or shuttered (story).
  • All non-Sunni Muslim groups in Mosul -- Shabaks, Yazidis and Turkmen -- have been targeted by ISIS. Most have fled.
  • Water and electricity have been cut off by ISIS. The water shortage in the areas surrounding Mosul is now a full-blown crisis. Residents have been forced to dig wells for drinking water. Water tankers are providing some relief.
  • Mosul is now governed under Sharia law.
  • 200,000 Assyrian have fled from Baghdede (Qaraqosh), Bartella, Karamles and dozens of Assyrian villages and towns in the Nineveh Plain north of Mosul.
  • 150,000 Yazidis have fled from Sinjar and Zumar. 40,000 trapped on Shingal mountain. Thousands have died from exposure. Thousands have been killed by ISIS.

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