24 October 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 06/27/2014, 00.00


    Saving Qaraqosh, a Christian town torn between Kurds and ISIS

    Fady Noun

    Boutros Mouchi, Syriac Catholic bishop of Nineveh, makes an appeal to ensure that Eastern Christians not be turned into "a wandering people." The town, once a safe haven, is likely to become the next battleground.

    Beirut (AsiaNews) - Qaraqosh, a predominantly Christian town in Iraq's Nineveh Plains, has been without water and power supply for a week. Now residents are preparing to flee a place they once considered safe as Islamist forces begin to clash with Kurdish peshmerga.

    "No, we Eastern Christians are not a wandering people," said Mgr Boutros Mouchi, Syriac Catholic bishop of Nineveh, in an attempt to raise awareness locally, regionally and internationally about the need to save the town from an invasion by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which some deemed "imminent".

    From Beirut, Melhem Khalaf, law professor at the University Saint-Joseph, joined the appeal just back from Iraq, where he also visited Qaraqosh.

    His appeal is for all political and religious leaders and all those who care about the survival of the region's rich social fabric, history and future.

    Bishop Boutros Mouchi is still in Qaraqosh, which is located about thirty kilometres from Mosul and is close to Kurdish-controlled areas.

    When ISIS took Mosul, Kurdish forces moved into Kirkuk, Iraq's richest oil-rich region, extending their control over Qaraqosh as well.

    Thus, the city found itself caught between rival forces fighting each other. When Qaraqosh residents asked ISIS leaders for the restauration of water and power supply, they were told: "Just ask the Kurds!"

    In recent weeks, Qaraqosh, which had 38,000 residents, 35,000 of which Christian, saw its population swell with the influx of Christians fleeing Mosul, after it was seized by ISIS.

    The same happened a few years ago, when Christians sought refuge in the city after fleeing the hell of Baghdad and thought they had found a place of peace.

    At first, ISIS pledged not to attack the town. With the desire to reassure the people and give credit to the commitments made by Islamist forces, the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako went there in person.

    Now everything has changed. Islamic extremists have begun attacking Qaraqosh, clashing with Kurdish peshmerga.

    Now, along with representatives of various Eastern Churches, Mgr Mouchi is appealing to the world to save the city and its most precious asset: religious, cultural and ethnic diversity.

    The Free World has to face up to its responsibilities, and not close its eyes before the violence that is currently tearing Iraq apart and that is happening or could happen, Khalaf said, under the guise of a power struggle.

    As part of this mobilisation, the Vatican has been reminded through Western ambassadors in Beirut.

    Everyone is convinced that the issue goes beyond the fate of a few thousands Christians and involves the future of the region.

    As Khalaf put it, "Qaraqosh is a bit of all of us. To let it die is to sign the death sentence for all of us."

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    20/10/2016 09:50:00 IRAQ - SYRIA
    Families of Mosul Isis leaders reach Raqqa in Syria. Doubts over who is helping them

    The families of dozens of leaders of the Caliphate were transported on board buses to Raqqa without running into roadblocks, or being discovered by the Allies inspection flights. Suspicions that they are being aided by Turkey and the US. Iraqis think that the victory of Mosul will be "a Pyrrhic victory": the leaders will not be caught, or questioned, and no one will ever know who their secret allies are.


    10/06/2016 09:12:00 SYRIA - IRAQ
    Daesh “Islamic Caliphate” splits. Kurds and Syrian army step up pressure

    Fundamentalist militias continue to pour into Menbej ahead of a Syrian army attack. Communications between Raqqa, the north-east of Aleppo and the Turkish border, Daesh’s supply line for weapons, new recruits, money, oil and other contraband, under threat. US in support of rebels.

    19/12/2014 IRAQ - SYRIA
    Mount Sinjar, the peshmerga break siege of Islamic State militias
    The Kurds' most important military victory against the Islamists since the beginning of the war. The fighters have opened a humanitarian corridor to allow the escape of 1,200 families trapped since summer. However Yazidi sources have not confirmed the end of the siege or the positioning of Peshmerga troops. December US airstrikes killed high-ranking military leaders of IS.

    12/03/2016 13:39:00 LEBANON – SYRIA
    IS threatens Lebanese Christians, Hezbollah, as Arab League declares the latter a “terrorist” group

    In a video, IS calls on Christians to convert to Islam, urges Sunnis to rise up and impose Islamic law on Lebanon. Hezbollah, which is fighting the al-Nusra Front and IS in Syria, is declared a terrorist group. Arab League and Arab Gulf States also condemn "terrorist" Hezbollah. Riyadh is accused of supporting extremist groups in Syria and Iraq. Iran warns against putting Lebanon’s stability at risk.

    01/09/2014 LEBANON - IRAQ - SYRIA
    Islamic State threatens coexistence even among Muslims
    Jihadist militias are increasingly sectarian in their actions. Attacking shared religious symbols, like the tomb of Jonah and the shrine of Saint George in Mosul, means destroying cultural, historical and social bridges. Conflict is not only inter-confessional but is also increasingly intra-confessional within Islam, between Sunnis and Shiites.

    Editor's choices

    On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"

    John Mok Chit Wai

    A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®