Arameans of Iraq.

 

Arabic Translations:

  الترجمات العربية

 

21-1-2013: Iraq: Aramean teacher and student killed in Mosul

 

22-2-2012: Iraq: We have left behind a "sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq"

 

26-10-2011: “Liberation” Iraq: Extermination Aramean Christians. “Liberation” Egypt: burning churches and slaughtering of Coptic Christians

 

19-8-2011: Iraq and Arameans: The usual ritual, blowing up their churches

 

7-6-2011: The uproar in the Middle-East and the future of the Aramean nation

 

29-4-2011: “Liberation” of Iraq: Extermination of Arameans of Iraq “Liberation” of Syria…..?????..

 

23-11-2010: Aramean blood continue to flow in Iraq: Two Aramean brothers killed in Mosul

 

11-11-2010: An Aramean spiritual leader makes a dramatic appeal: Leave Iraq

 

1-11-2010: Bloodbath among the Arameans of Baghdad: Something like this never happened

 

5-10-2010: Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns in strong words the terrorist attack on the Aramean Catholic church in Baghdad

 

17-5-2010: Iraq: The 19 years old Aramean girl Sandy Shabib Hadi Zahra succumbs to her injuries

 

10-3-2010: Exodus Arameans from Mosul: According to recent UN report more than 5000 Arameans have left Mosul

 

6-3-2010: Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch condemns the attacks on the Aramean Christians of Mosul

 

3-3-2010: Exodus of the Arameans of Mosul continues undiminished: According to UN report already 720 Aramean families (4320 people) have left Mosul

 

1-3-2010: Peaceful demonstration on Sunday 28th of February 2010 by the Aramean Orthodox and Catholics in Baghdeda (Qaraqosh), northern Iraq

 

27-2-2010: Council of Churches in Iraq appeals to the government to protect the Aramean people in Mosul, Iraq

 

26-2-2010: The Arameans of Mosul: A new Exodus and Ethnic cleansing is going on

 

18-2-2010: The Arameans of Iraq again victim of killings and bloodbaths:

 

24-12-2009: A Christmas “message” for the Arameans of Mosul: Four Aramean Churches attacked and one Aramean killed

 

26-10-2009: Exactly one month and one day after the dramatic appeal of Iraqi President to the United Nations, two car bombs were detonated in the neighborhood of the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq

 

1-9-2009: Arameans of Iraq: The East- Aramean Chaldean bishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk sounds the alarm bell

 

29-8-2009: Totally unfounded or has it a grain of truth in it? Greater- Israel and the ethnic cleansing of the Arameans of Mosul and surroundings in Iraq

 

14-7-2009: The Special UN envoy to Iraq, Mr. Ad Melkert, wants extra protection for the Aramean Christians in Iraq

 

13-7-2009: Seven Indigenous Aramean Churches in Baghdad (Iraq) attacked by car bombs

 

4-5-2009: Aramean blood continues to flow in Iraq…

 

15-11-2008: Iraq: The bloodshed of Aramean people and bombardment of churches continues undiminished

 

27-10-2008: Attempt of ethnic cleansing Mosul: The Aramean Srebrinica. Who is responsible and why?

 

14-10-2008: Aramean indigenous nation of Iraq: Removal of article 50, exclusion, killings, persecutions, displacements and ethnic cleansing in Mosul erea

 

2-9-2008: Again two Arameans killed in Iraq

 

Killing of Priest Yusuf Adel Abudi

4-5-2008: Again a Aramean spiritual leader is killed in Iraq. This time: The West- Aramean Syrian orthodox priest Yusuf Adel Abudi in Bagdad

 

11-4-2008: Through all the misery: Miracles happens in Iraq

 

6-4-2008: Funeral of the West- Aramean Syrian Orthodox Priest Yusuf Adel Abudi

 

Killing of Mgr. Faraj Raho

1-3-2008: East- Aramean Chaldean bishop of Mosul, Mgr. Paulus Faraj Raho was abducted on 29-2-2008 in Mosul.

 

13-3-2008: The East- Aramean Chaldean bishop Paulus Faraj Raho killed in Mosul

 

14-3-2008: Friday 14-3-2008: Funeral of Mgr. Faraj Raho in St. Addai Church in Karemlesh

 

16-3-2008: Mgr. Paulus Faraj Raho: A Great Spiritual Leader and a Worthy Sheppard in Charge of Jesus Christ

 

23-2-2008: Aramean centre for art and culture has been opened in Ankawa, northern Iraq

 

7-1-2008: Aramean Churches and institutions in Iraq under Attack

 

22-8-2007: AINA: The international lie- and hate machine and the cause of killing, persecution and decline of the Arameans of Iraq

 

Killing of Priest Ragied Aziz Gannie

3-6-2007: East- Aramean Chaldean priest Ragied Aziz Gannie brutally murdered in Mosul along with three deacons by Muslim extremists

 

25-5-2007: Terror against Arameans (including "Assyrians" and Chaldeans) of Iraq. Ethnic cleansing of the Indigenous people of Iraq

 

Killing of Priest Paulus Iskandar

12-10-2006: Aramean priest Iskandar beheaded in Mosul (Iraq)

 

Killing of Isoh Majeed Hadaya

22-11-2006: The West- Aramean Isoh Majeed Hadaya killed by terrorists in Iraq

 

 

Aramean people: Aramean people (not to be confused with ‘Armenians’) speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Abraham, Moses and Jesus. They are the indigenous people of what was called in ancient times Aram- Nahrin, in our days it is called ‘Mesopotamia’.

Some Arameans today identify themselves with “Assyrians”, because of the spiritual colonial hate generating activities of the Western missionaries and diplomats in the Middle-East in 16th and 19th centuries. Other Arameans became known as “Chaldeans”. However all of them are Arameans.


Exodus of the Arameans of Mosul continues undiminished: According to UN report already 720 Aramean families (4320 people) have left Mosul.

 

Dutch Version

 

Since the break out of violence against and killings of the Indigenous Arameans of Mosul at beginning of February this year already 12 Arameans of various denominations have been killed and 720 families (4320 people) fled Mosul for outlying villages and areas for more safety. The report, published on 2nd of February 2010, of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) details on the numbers and the places the Arameans fled to.

 

According to the report the Aramean families escaped violence to the following villages/cities:

 

Dohuk: 17 families es

Alqosh: 84 families

Batnaya 63 families

Tel Uskoop: 91 families

Telkeef: 16 families

Bashiqa: 66 families

Bartallah: 60 families

Karamles: 22 families

Qaraqosh: 278 families

Al-Hamdaniya: 35 families

Ainkawa: 23 families

Namrud: 35 families

 

Please click here for the report of OCHA: http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/UN_Office_Coordination_Humanatarian_report_Iraq_2_3_2010.pdf

 

 


 

The Arameans of Iraq

 

Before the war of 2003, there were around 800.000 Arameans in Iraq. Probably more than half of them have left the country. The attacks on their churches and leaders chased the Arameans out of Iraq.

 

The spiritual/political colonial Western intervention and machinations in the Middle-East divided the Arameans in various denominations, namely: 

  • - West- Aramean Syrian Orthodox

  • - West- Aramean Syrian Catholics

  • - East- Aramean Nestorian Chaldeans

  • - East- Aramean Nestorian "Assyrians". The "Assyrians" are divided among themselves as follows: The Apostolic Assyrian Catholic church of the East (Since 1976, the name "Catholic" has no relation with Rome) and the Ancient Church of the East (since 1968).

The terms “East- “ and “West- Arameans” go back to the time of early Christianity where the Aramean indigenous nation was geographically termed as such. Roughly speaking the Euphrates River was the border. Those Arameans living Eastern of Euphrates, thus living in Persia, were termed “East- Arameans” and those living Western of Euphrates, thus in Roman Empire, were called “Western- Arameans”.

The designations “Chaldeans” and “Assyrians” for the eastern Arameans go back to the Western colonial activities of the 16th (France + Catholic missionaries) and 19th (Great Britain + Anglican missionaries) centuries. The ecclesiastical and political Western powers closely worked together and setup camps in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran where the Aramean children were “educated” through which they were completely uprooted from their Aramean origin. They thereby planted a horrible form of fanaticism in their hearts which caused them to display an immense aversion to their Aramean origin.

 

In the year 1553 the Western Catholic missionaries together with France brainwashed a part of the East- Aramean clergy by means of bribery to call themselves “Chaldeans” with the result that the Aramaic language became known as “Chaldean” language and a part of the Aramean nation became known as “Chaldean” nation in some parts of the Western literature, the first attack on the Aramean heritage.

 

As a result of mutual hatred and competition between the Western Catholics and Protestants, in the late 19th century the same process was repeated, this time by the Anglican missionaries and Great Britain, and the other part of the East- Aramean “Nestorian” tribes of Hakkari (bordering Turkey and Iraq) and Urmia (Iran) to call themselves "Assyrians"- a term which was used purely geographically and only applied to the "Nestorians". The result was that Aramaic became known as “Assyrian” language and the Aramean nation as the “Assyrian” nation- this was the second and more severe attack on the Aramean heritage- a kind of spiritual genocide.

 

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Related articles:

http://www.iraqichristians.info/English/Aramean-Christians_Mosul_Killed_18_2_2010.htm

http://www.iraqichristians.info/English/Aramean_Churches_Mosul_Attack_24_12_2009.htm

http://www.iraqichristians.info/English/President_Iraq_Appeal_UN_26_10_2009.htm

http://www.iraqichristians.info/English/Arameans_Iraq_Louis_Sako_AlarmBell_1_9_2009.htm

http://www.iraqichristians.info/English/Great-Israel_Ethnic_cleansing_Iraq_Arameans_29_8_2009.htm

http://www.iraqichristians.info/English/Aramean_Churches_Baghdad_BombAttack_13_7_2009.htm

http://www.iraqichristians.org/English/Aramean_Blood_Iraq_Continues_Flow_4_5_2009.htm

http://www.iraqichristians.org/English/Attack_Aramean_Churches_Iraq_7_1_2008.htm

http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Mosul_Aramean_Srebrinica_27_10_2008.htm

http://www.iraqichristians.org/English/Miracles_In_Iraq_11_4_2008.htm

http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Arameans_Killed_In_Mosul_2_9_2008.htm

http://www.iraqichristians.org/English/Arameans_Iraq_killing_Mosul_Qaraqosh_15_11_2008.htm

http://www.iraqichristians.org/English/Aramean_Organisations_Letter_UN_31_10_2008.htm

http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Killings_Ethnic_Cleansing_Arameans_Iraq_14_10_2008.htm

http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Indigenous_2009.htm

http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Arameans_In_The_Media_Misinformation_8_6_2009.htm

http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Aramean_Spiritual_Genocide.htm

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Bishops in Iraq urge government to halt slaughter of Christians

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/iraqi_bishops_urge_government_to_halt_slaughter_of_christians/#comments

 

.- Various Iraqi bishops have issued a joint message denouncing the continual wave of Islamic violence against Christians in the country, which has left five people dead in the past week. The bishops are demanding that the government take concrete steps to stop the slaughter.

 

In an interview with the Fides News Agency, Syrian Catholic Archbishop Georges Casmouusa of Mosul called for authorities to “fully assume responsibility for protecting the Christian presence in Mosul.  International intervention is necessary to force the central and local governments to act immediately.”

 

The fifth and most recent victim, a 57-year-old Christian orthodox man, was found dead two days ago.

 

This surge in violence moved the bishops to call for greater intervention by the local government.  Archbishop Casmouusa provided Fides with a copy of the message which he signed together with Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Gregorios Saliba, and Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Emile Nona.  The message denounced the violence against “our Christian sons and daughters in the city of Mosul,” with the killing of innocent and peaceful people, thus revealing “a premeditated plan to pressure the Christian Churches to carry out a particular agenda.” 

 

All efforts by Christian and Muslim leaders have not been able to stop the violence against Christ’s faithful, they said, adding, “These continuous acts lead us to believe that we are not wanted in this city, which is our homeland.” 

 

“Christians have participated directly and with great effectiveness in building civilization in Mosul” and throughout the region, the bishops said, particularly through art, culture, thought and creativity, as well as the economy and society. Christians are recognized by all as “peaceful members and builders of society."

 

“Is this how we are rewarded? By being expelled from our city, marginalized from public life, thrown out of our land? Will the state remain indifferent?” they asked.

 

The bishops called on the government of Mosul and the federal government in Baghdad to “fully assume their responsibility to work for the security of citizens, especially for the faithful of the Christian minority, who are the most vulnerable and most peaceful of all.”

 

“We demand government officials give priority to respect for the law and the state, and safeguard the security and the trust of the citizens,” they said.  “We ask leaders not to waste their efforts fighting for power and hegemony amongst themselves,” but rather to “pursue criminal actions so that those who order and carry out violence may be brought to justice.”

 


Iraqi lawmakers highlight "political" killings of Christians (Roundup)

Feb 25, 2010, 12:08 GMT

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/middleeast/news/article_1536589.php/Iraqi-lawmakers-highlight-political-killings-of-Christians-Roundup#ixzz0gZSVCGAi

 

Mosul, Iraq - Lawmakers from the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh on Thursday said a recent spate of violence against Christians in the area was intended to stir up religious and ethnic tension.

 

Representatives of Nineveh's Christian population say Christians in the province have been subject to a wave of lethal violence and threats in lead up to the next month's elections.

 

At least eight Christians have been murdered in Mosul, the provincial capital, since February 14 alone. At least 12 have been killed since January.

 

'The purpose of targeting Christians in Nineveh province is to perpetuate instability between the province's different religions, creeds, and ethnicities,' Hisham al-Tai, a lawmaker with the Iraqi Accord Front, told reporters.

 

The election is scheduled for March 7.

 

The head of Mosul University, Said al-Diwaji, said some 1,500 of his students would not be able to get to school because of fears for their safety.

 

He said that the head of Mosul security had asked that buses not take some 1,500 Christian students from Qaraqosh, roughly 30 kilometres east of Mosul, to the university because of threats to blow up the buses.

 

Mosul and its environs are among the most ethnically and religiously diverse - and dangerous - regions of Iraq. Iraqi and US officials describe the city as al-Qaeda's last urban stronghold in the country.

 

Tensions have been high in the province since an Arab nationalist party won last year's provincial polls on a platform of taking back control of the government and security services from Kurdish parties and allied militias.

 

Yehia Abdu, a member of Nineveh's provincial council, accused Iraq's central government, the provincial government, and the security services 'of failing to disclose those behind the targeting of Christians.'

 

'The targeting of Christians serves a political agenda, by pitting one group against a minority. The real losers are the Iraqi people,' he said.

 

A Christian man and his two sons were fatally shot in Mosul on Tuesday. Their murder followed five similar shootings, in at least one case by men who told the victims they were secret police agents.

 

Many Christians fled the area after a similar wave of attacks targeted their community in late 2008, ahead of provincial council elections.

 

Christian lawmaker Yonadam Kanna accused the central government and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) of not doing enough to protect the region's Christians from 'crimes of a political nature.'

 

He further accused the government of burying the findings of its investigations of the recent killings and those that took place in 2008, 'perhaps out of fear for its political alliances ahead of the elections.'

 

He blamed a 'lack of coordination' between the KRG and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government in Baghdad for creating 'a security vacuum' that allowed the attacks to continue.

 

The New York-based pressure group Human Rights Watch this week said the attacks were 'most probably politically motivated.'

 

'Iraq's authorities need to act now to stop this campaign of violence against Christians from spreading again,' Human Rights Watch's deputy Middle East director, Joe Stork, said.

 

'In particular, the government needs to see that those responsible for these murders are swiftly arrested and prosecuted to protect Mosul's Christians from further violence,' he added.

 


Mosul’s Christians Are Being Hunted, Murdered, And Forced To Flee (With Updates)

 

February 25, 2010

By Mohammed Ibn Laith

 

http://gorillasguides.com/2010/02/25/mosuls-christians-are-being-hunted-murdered-and-forced-to-flee/

 

If you had read the independent Iraki newsagency Aswat al Iraq’s English language coverage of Ninewa governorate in general and the disaster that is befalling Mosul’s Christians in particular you would know that that yesterday evening "more than thirty" Christian families had fled Mosul within a space of two days. "More than thirty" —  you could be forgiven for having the the impression that only a few more than thirty families have fled, thirty one, thirty two, thirty three perhaps … … …  "more than thirty".

 

The reality is catastrophically worse. Hundreds of Christian families have fled their homes in the last two days in Mosul and it’s suburbs in terror for their lives.

If you are a Christian in Mosul today the overwhelming factor in your life is that to fear being hunted down and slaughtered without mercy is an entirely reasonable fear to have. The source of the "more than thirty" quote is Bashar Kiki who is the head of the village council for Tal Keef. However, if you read the report that my colleague Mohammed Al-Hamadani posted earlier today (Arabic language) it becomes very clear that Bashar Kiki1 was speaking only of families whom he personally had met and to whom he personally offered help.

However when you count all the Christian families who have fled their homes in Mosul in the last few days and not just those who fled to Tal Keef as we have done and as Bishop Emil Shimoun Nona, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, has done then the scale of the catastrophe engulfing Mosul’s Christians becomes clear.

Speaking from Mosul the Bishop spoke of a "humanitarian emergency" and revealed that in just one day, yesterday, "hundreds of Christian families" had fled the city taking what they could carry leaving their homes and livelihoods behind them. Those families are now destitute.

Updates:

While I was writing this during the day my colleagues were working on the postings and summaries for tonight. Here is some of what is in their preliminary drafts (I have translated from Arabic):

 

Several attacks on minority members in Mosul:

  • Two shabaki were murdered by gunmen who forced their way into their workshop in East Mosul and shot them dead.

  • The body of a woman who had had been killed by having her head cut off was found in al-Mashierfa (west Mosul).

  • An old lady was stabbed to death in her home in al-Zuhoor (east Mosul) by men who forced their way into her house.

  • Three Christians were captured and shot dead by a gang of gunmen on the plains of Ninewa.

  • A man was shot dead in South Mosul in a drive by shooting.

  • Also on the plains of Ninewa the body a man who is believed to be a Yazhidi was found he had been very recently shot.

 

IRAQ Bishop of Mosul: humanitarian emergency. Hundreds of Christian families fleeing violence – Asia News:

The archbishop of Mosul is concerned about the many families, "hundreds" in one day yesterday, leaving the city. Bishop Nona speaks of an " unending via Crucis” and denounces the "change in methods" operated by the armed gangs. "In the past we said to the Christians to remain closed in the house – he remembers – but now they are even attacked in their own homes”. The reference is to the murder took place last February 23: commandos entered the house of Aishwa Marosi, a Christian of 59, killing the man and two boys. His wife and daughter witnessed the murder but were spared by the criminals.

Bishop Nona confirms the risk that "Mosul will be emptied completely of Christians”, who are fleeing towards the plain of Nineveh and other places considered safer. "Yesterday I visited some families – he continues – I have tried to bring comfort, but the situation is dramatic. The people fled without taking anything with them”. This is why the local archdiocese has launched an initial emergency response, trying to provide "essential supplies and relief", but the danger of "a humanitarian crisis is real."

The archbishop of Mosul plans to travel to Baghdad to meet with politicians and the central government, to demand their intervention. It is difficult to maintain the Christian presence, he continues, and it is likely that the general elections – scheduled for March 7 – no one will vote. The confining of Iraq’s Christians in the Nineveh Plain, victims of a power struggle between Arabs and Kurds, seems an increasingly concrete likelihood, although the Church leaders have always been opposed to this "ghettoisation". So far, the warring factions have used the excuse of religion and armed gangs to drag the Christians into the conflict. "For this – concluded Mgr. Nona – we now need to find a ‘political response’ to the conflicts, the struggle for power.”

Among those hundreds of Christian families who fled their homes yesterday were the families of two Gorilla’s Guides team members. More Christians have fled Mosul this morning. Among those who fled this morning were a further two families of Gorilla’s Guides Christian team members in Mosul.

 

When I wrote "Nearly One Million Christians – Most Of Them Now On The Run" nearly two years ago, we had twenty five Christian team members and associates together with their families living in Mosul and it’s suburbs. Today February 25th 2010 we have one Christian team member left living in the city. He lives alone having sent his family to stay in the home of another team member far from Mosul for their safety.

 

The savage murder of the 59 year old Assyrian (Aramean) Christian Aishwa Maroki by a gang of gunmen who smashed down his front door to get at him and then slaughtered him and and his two sons Bassim and Mokhlas in front of his terrified wife and daughter has terrorised many of Mosul’s Christians beyond endurance. As my colleague has reported in the immediately preceding posting (see نزوح اسر مسيحية من مدينة الموصل جراء العنف | Gorilla’s Guides ) The leader of Tal Keef district council, Bashar Kiki, has said that he personally has offered assistance to thirty Christian refugee families and that he expects more Christian refugees to arrive in the next few days.

 

Mosul’s Christians are the victims of the complete breakdowns in law and order that have taken place repeatedly in Mosul since the American invasion of Irak. They are the victims of several concentrated campaigns of terror against them. There is the campaign by Takfiri extremists and there are the competing campaigns of Arab and Kurdish nationalists. Wherever my Christian brothers and sisters in humanity look in the city that is their home Mosul’s Christians see only threats and predators. The security forces, the Peshmerga now flooding the city, and the American forces who patrol with the Peshmerga do nothing to protect the Christians. Nor do they do anything to protect the other minorities such as the Shabaki and the Yazhidi.

 

We have many eyewitness reports from witnesses whom we know to be credible of Peshmerga and their American allies standing by and doing nothing while Christians are attacked in front of their eyes. We have reports from people whose testimony we know to be credible of Christians being "fingered" by the new "security" forces flooding Mosul and then being attacked. We are not the only people with thick dossiers of such reports. Every human rights organisation with a presence in the governorate has such a dossier.

 

The parallels with the death squad murder campaigns of recent years in which the death squads consisting of  "men dressed in police uniform" and "men dressed in army uniform" turned out to be police and soldiers are too clear and too appalling to be missed. As with those campaigns the aim is explicitly political — to remove a political obstacle by forcing an entire community to flee in terror from their homes

 

When Mosul’s Christians say that they are surrounded by threats and predators in the city that is their home and that among worst predators are those whose duty it is to protect them they are telling the truth.

 

Like Bashar Kikim, and Bishops Sako and Nona  we in Gorilla’s Guides know that we can expect more Christians to flee in terror as the terror campaigns against them escalate. We expect increased violence against them and the other minority groups, such as Turkmen, Fayli, Shabaki, and Yazhidi in the run up to the election. We expect the violence levels to escalate against them still further as the issues of Kirkuk and the so-called "disputed areas" come once more to forefront of the political arena. This is the second time in recent years that I have burnt with rage and shame that we cannot do more to protect our Christian brothers and sisters. I believe that it is now very doubtful that there will be any surviving Christians in Irak in a few years time.

Mohammed Ibn Laith


 

Christians flee Mosul because of violence

 

February 25, 2010 - 07:47:21

http://en.aswataliraq.info/?p=127613

 

NINEWA / Aswat al-Iraq: More than 30 Christian families have left Mosul heading to Talkeef district as a result of the surge in acts of violence against them in the city.

 

Christian families have been leaving Mosul City for Talkeef district (15 km north of Mosul) for two days,” the head of Talkeef’s council, Bashar Kiki, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

 

This came after gunmen had killed three members of a Christian family in the city, Kiki indicated.

 

According to our information, 15 persons were killed in Mosul in a matter of two weeks, he added.

Mosul, the capital city of Ninewa province, lies 405 km north of Baghdad.


 

» 02/25/2010 10:44
IRAQ

 

Bishop of Mosul: humanitarian emergency. Hundreds of Christian families fleeing violence

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Bishop-of-Mosul:-humanitarian-emergency.-Hundreds-of-Christian-families-fleeing-violence-17726.html

 

Mgr Nona speaks of an “unending Via Crucis”. The archdiocese helps the refugees with basic necessities, but "the situation is dramatic." The prelate will go to Baghdad to seek the intervention of the central government. Mgr Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, will launch a "demonstration and a fast" to remember "the massacre of Iraqi Christians."

 

Mosul (AsiaNews) - Mosul is experiencing a veritable "humanitarian emergency" in just one day, yesterday, "hundreds of Christian families" left the city in search of shelter, leaving behind their homes, property, commercial activities: the situation "is dramatic". Bishop Emil Shimoun Nona, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, confirmed to AsiaNews about the exodus of the faithful from the city. Meanwhile, Mgr. Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, will launch "a demonstration and a fast", to sensitize the international community to the "massacre of Iraqi Christians" and stop the violence in the country.  

 

The archbishop of Mosul is concerned about the many families, "hundreds" in one day yesterday, leaving the city. Bishop Nona speaks of an " unending via Crucis” and denounces the "change in methods" operated by the armed gangs. "In the past we said to the Christians to remain closed in the house – he remembers - but now they are even attacked in their own homes”.  The reference is to the murder took place last February 23: commandos entered the house of Aishwa Marosi, a Christian of 59, killing the man and two boys. His wife and daughter witnessed the murder but were spared by the criminals.

 

Bishop Nona confirms the risk that "Mosul will be emptied completely of Christians”, who are fleeing towards the plain of Nineveh and other places considered safer. "Yesterday I visited some families – he continues - I have tried to bring comfort, but the situation is dramatic. The people fled without taking anything with them”. This is why the local archdiocese has launched an initial emergency response, trying to provide "essential supplies and relief", but the danger of "a humanitarian crisis is real."  

 

The archbishop of Mosul plans to travel to Baghdad to meet with politicians and the central government, to demand their intervention. It is difficult to maintain the Christian presence, he continues, and it is likely that the general elections - scheduled for March 7 - no one will vote. The confining of Iraq’s Christians in the Nineveh Plain, victims of a power struggle between Arabs and Kurds, seems an increasingly concrete likelihood, although the Church leaders have always been opposed to this "ghettoisation". So far, the warring factions have used the excuse of religion and armed gangs to drag the Christians into the conflict. "For this - concluded Mgr. Nona – we now need to find a 'political response' to the conflicts, the struggle for power.”

 

Archbishop Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, plans to launch – in the next few days - "a demonstration and a fast", to sensitize the international community to the "massacre of Iraqi Christians" and stop the violence in the country. The policy that aims to see Mosul emptied of Christians must be stopped, negotiations with the central government and local parliament started to enhance "the idea of national unity" that is lost in the conflicts between different ethnicities, religions and influences foreign in a shattered Iraq. The prelate confirms the will of the Christian community to "participate in the political life of the country", while there is an increasingly concrete danger that they will be considered "second-class citizens."  

 

The general elections scheduled for March 7 will cause an even greater escalation of violence. The warring parties - Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds – are sparing no methods or use of force to gain control of the territory. Baghdad, like Mosul and Kirkuk, is tempting for its many rich deposits of oil. Sectarian violence in Mosul, also does not seem linked to al Qaeda, but rather confirms the infiltration in the army and police of "big powers" that are aligned to political parties, religious denominations, or to the tribes. They are a clear indication of the failure to create a unitary state, the "Republic of Iraq" mentioned in the Constitution, but never born because of internal divisions. Added to this the external pressures from neighbouring countries including Iran: Baghdad AsiaNews sources confirm that "Tehran has both hands in the internal politics of Iraq" and is an influence that touches the economic, political and religious sphere.  

 

"There is a state, a home - underlines Msgr. Sako - and sectarian divisions are an obvious fact. Christians who are not interested in power games, economic hegemony, but the creation of a State in which the different ethnic groups can live together peacefully. " An objective to be achieved, must begin first of all with "the unity of the Christian community and Church leaders, who must make their unity a strength at the bargaining table with the central government and the political forces of the country ". (DS)

 

 


 

Christians flee Iraq’s Mosul

 http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news%5C2010-02-24%5Ckurd.htm

 

By Jareer Ahmad

 

Azzaman, February 24, 2010

 

Christian families are fleeing Mosul in droves in the aftermath of the murder of a Christian family in the city.

 

Our correspondent in the city says the flight is a reminder of the 2008 exodus in which thousands of families fled the city.

 

The fleeing families are heading for the string of Christian villages, towns, churches and monasteries to the east and north of the city.

 

Anti-Christian attacks have intensified recently in the city, the second largest in Iraq.

 

Five more Christians were killed in the past two weeks. Many Christians were openly told to leave or face the consequences.

 

Violence has relatively receded in Iraq in the past two years, but Mosul remains one of the most volatile and violent in the country.

 

Tensions are building up between Kurds and Arabs in Mosul and its outskirts which Kurdish militias have occupied.

 

Kurdish militiamen are even heavily present inside the city itself.

 

But neither the Kurdish militias nor Iraqi troops are doing enough to put an end to Christian suffering in the city.

 

Observers say the Christians in the city are most probably paying for the struggle over territory between the Arab majority and Kurdish minority in the Province of Nineveh of which Mosul is the capital.

 

Iraqi Christians are of divided loyalty despite their shaky situation.

 

Some of their factions openly support the Kurds. Others have aligned with Arabs.

 

The observers say the struggle over Christian votes might be one of the reasons behind the latest anti-Christian campaign.

 

The Iraqi al-Qaeda branch could be involved. The group had vowed to derail the elections, only a few days away.


 

3 Christians of same family killed in Mosul

http://www.ninanews.com/English/News_Details.asp?ar95_VQ=ELGIGK

23/02/2010 22:53:00

 

Mosul (NINA) – In one day, three Christians kill in Mosul.

Source at Niniveh Police Operations told NINA on Tuesday, Feb. 23, "Unknown gunmen burst into a home of Christian family in Thawra neighbourhood, in western Mosul, killing a man and his two sons and fled."

This killing brings the number of Christians killed by unknown gunmen in Ninive province during the second half of the current month of March up to ten; most of them are young men. / End


 

Gunmen kill 3 Christians in Mosul

February 23, 2010 - 06:42:09

 

http://en.aswataliraq.info/?p=127546

 

NINEWA / Aswat al-Iraq: Unidentified gunmen killed three Christians from the same family in western Mosul on Tuesday, according to a security source.

 

“Unknown armed men stormed the house of a Christian family in al-Seha neighborhood in western Mosul, killing the father and two of his sons, one of them is a priest,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

 

“The father is a very old man and the priest had been kidnapped two years ago,” he explained.

He gave no more details.

 

Mosul, the capital of Ninewa, is 405 km north of Baghdad.


 

Gunmen kill three Christians in Iraq's north

 

23 Feb 2010 18:13:11 GMT

 

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LDE61M2G6.htm

 

* Eight Christians killed in less than fortnight

* Attacks on minorities ahead of election

 

MOSUL, Iraq, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Armed men stormed the house of a Christian family in northern Iraq on Tuesday, killing a father and his two sons, police said, in another attack on the minority community ahead of an election.

 

While violence has declined across Iraq over the last two years, bombings and shootings occur almost daily in the northern city of Mosul, where a struggle for power between Arabs and Kurds, and the presence of al Qaeda, exacerbate insecurity.

 

Police said unknown gunmen shot dead the family members in eastern Mosul. Five other Christians have been killed in Mosul in the past two weeks.

 

Human Rights Watch, which has repeatedly warned that Kurd-Arab disputes put Iraq's minorities in a precarious position, said the recent attacks could be politically motivated ahead of March 7 parliamentary polls.

 

"Iraq's authorities need to act now to stop this campaign of violence against Christians from spreading again," Joe Stork, the group's deputy Middle East director, said in a statement.

 

In late 2008, thousands of Christians fled their homes around Mosul after a campaign of assassinations.

 

With the March 7 parliamentary vote drawing closer, attacks against Christians -- whose vote may influence the Kurd-Arab tussle -- could be a sign of voter intimidation, or an attempt by al Qaeda militants to derail the election.

 

There is a quota in parliament for Christian seats, but there are Christian candidates who are closer to the Kurds, others who are independent and some closer to the Arabs. (Reporting by Jamal Al-Badrani; writing by Jack Kimball; editing by Andrew Roche)

 


 

Five dead, including three Christians, in Iraq attacks

 

Tue Feb 23,

 

MOSUL, Iraq (AFP) – Five people were killed, including three Christian men and a policeman, in the restive northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Tuesday, less than two weeks ahead of a nationwide general election.

 

In the deadliest attack, a Christian man and his two sons were gunned down in their home, bringing to eight the total number of Christians murdered in the city, 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Baghdad, in the past 10 days.

 

"Unknown gunmen entered the house of Aishwa Maroki, who was 59 years old, and killed him and his two sons -- Mokhlas, 31, and Bassim, 25," said police Major Khalaf al-Juburi. All the victims were Syrian Catholic.

 

Juburi said Maroki's wife and daughter were in the west Mosul house when the shooting happened but were not killed. He added that the gunmen stole the family's gold before escaping.

 

According to a neighbour the gunmen arrived at the house on three motorcycles.

 

Local leaders had expressed concern that Christians could be targeted ahead of the March 7 parliamentary election in a country wracked by sectarian violence since the US-led invasion of 2003.

 

In November, New York-based Human Rights Watch warned that minorities in the oil-rich north including Christians were the collateral victims of a conflict between Arabs and Kurds over who controls Iraq's disputed northern provinces.

 

Later on Tuesday, policeman Ahmed al-Luhaibi was killed when a magnetic bomb attached to his car exploded at around 6:30 pm (1530 GMT) in south Mosul, a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

 

In the town of Tal Abta, 35 kilometres (20 miles) west of the city, police also found a bullet-riddled body at around 4:30 pm. A police official said the body, of a man aged between 30 and 35, could not immediately be identified.

 

While sectarian violence has dropped dramatically across Iraq since its peak from 2005 to 2007, attacks remain common, especially in Baghdad and Mosul


 

Iraq: Protect Christians from Violence

Five Killed in Mosul in One Week

 

February 23, 2010

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/02/23/iraq-protect-christians-violence

 

Update: Three more Christians were killed on February 23 after armed men shot a father and his two sons at their home in Mosul.

 

(Washington, DC, February 23, 2010) - Iraq's government should bolster security to protect the lives of Christians in Mosul, Human Rights Watch said today. Since February 14, 2010, five Christians have been killed in Mosul in separate attacks that appear to be politically motivated, given the country's looming national election.

 

Human Rights Watch called on the government to take immediate measures, such as an increased security presence in Chaldo-Assyrian (Aramean)  neighborhoods before and during the elections, to help prevent a repeat of a campaign of violence that devastated the community in Mosul in late 2008.

 

"Iraq's authorities need to act now to stop this campaign of violence against Christians from spreading again," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "In particular, the government needs to see that those responsible for these murders are swiftly arrested and prosecuted to protect Mosul's Christians from further violence."

 

According to information obtained by Human Rights Watch, on February 16, assailants impersonating secret police approached Zaya Toma and his cousin, Ramsin Shmael, while they waited at a bus stop in Mosul's al-Tahrir district on their way to the university they attend. Speaking in Arabic, the assailants asked Toma, a 22-year-old engineering student, and Shmael, a 21-year-old pharmacy student, for their identity cards. Although identity cards in Iraq do not indicate religion or ethnicity, assailants have often used the victim's name as a marker of his or her religious or ethnic affiliation.

 

After Toma produced his card, one of the assailants shot him point-blank in the head, killing him instantly. Ramsin tried to run but was shot twice; one bullet shattered his teeth. The assailants fled, apparently assuming they had killed both students, although Shmael survived. Family members arrived on the scene before the police, to find Toma lying in a pool of blood, his books on one side of his body, his identity card on the other.

 

The incident has devastated the broader family of Toma and Shmael, who escaped to northern Iraq from Baghdad in the summer of 2007 after receiving threats to kill them unless they converted to Islam. Family members say they want to move again - this time out of Iraq - to join the hundreds of thousands of Chaldo-Assyrian (Aramean) who have fled since 2003.

 

"By killing Zaya, they have taken everything from us," a family member told Human Rights Watch. "Our only crime is that we are Christian,"

The attack was one of several killings of Christians in Mosul the same week:

  • On February 20, the body of Adnan Hanna al-Dahan was found in northern Mosul. The 57-year-old Syrian Orthodox grocer had been kidnapped by unknown assailants from inside his shop a few days earlier.

  • On February 17, the bullet-ridden body of Wissam George, a 20-year-old Assyrian (Aramean) studying to be a teacher, was found after he disappeared that morning on his way to school.

  • On February 15, gunmen stormed a grocery store and killed Fatukhi Munir, its owner.

  • On February 14, Rayan Salem Elias, a Chaldean man, was shot dead outside his home.

While the identities of the perpetrators remain unknown, the spike in attacks against Christians comes only days ahead of Iraq's March 7 parliamentary vote. Families of the victims and community leaders believe the violence is politically motivated and are appealing to the government for protection.

 

The Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, Emil Shimoun Nona, said the most recent killings could prompt a new wave of refugees fleeing northern Iraq, where Christians live in constant apprehension.  Since 2003, between 250,000 and 500,000 Christians - or about half the Christian population - have left the country, according to the UN High Commission for Refugees. In January, Archbishop Nona was installed as successor to Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, whose body was found in March 2008, ten days after kidnappers seized him as he was leaving the Holy Spirit Church in Mosul.

 

Human Rights Watch said that the recent attacks recall the campaign of targeted killings against Chaldo-Assyrian (Aramean)  in Mosul in late 2008 that the organization documented in a 51-page report, "On Vulnerable Ground: Violence against Minority Communities in Nineveh Province's Disputed Territories," released in November 2009. The orchestrated violence left 40 Chaldo-Assyrian (Aramean)  dead and led to a mass exodus of more than 12,000 from their homes in Mosul. Assailants targeted Christians in their homes, in workplaces, and in places of worship.

Those killings began shortly after the Christian community lobbied the Iraqi parliament to pass a law that would set aside a greater number of seats for minorities in the January 2009 provincial elections. The attacks escalated after Christians held demonstrations in Nineveh and Baghdad in response to parliament's decision (later amended) to drop a provision in the provincial elections law ensuring political representation for minorities.

 

The report also documented intimidation and restrictions on freedom of movement by Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq of other minority groups in Nineveh, including Yazidis and Shabaks, during the 2009 provincial elections.


 

Gunmen kill three Christians in Iraq's north

 

23 Feb 2010 18:13:11 GMT

 

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LDE61M2G6.htm

 

* Eight Christians killed in less than fortnight

* Attacks on minorities ahead of election

 

MOSUL, Iraq, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Armed men stormed the house of a Christian family in northern Iraq on Tuesday, killing a father and his two sons, police said, in another attack on the minority community ahead of an election.

 

While violence has declined across Iraq over the last two years, bombings and shootings occur almost daily in the northern city of Mosul, where a struggle for power between Arabs and Kurds, and the presence of al Qaeda, exacerbate insecurity.

 

Police said unknown gunmen shot dead the family members in eastern Mosul. Five other Christians have been killed in Mosul in the past two weeks.

 

Human Rights Watch, which has repeatedly warned that Kurd-Arab disputes put Iraq's minorities in a precarious position, said the recent attacks could be politically motivated ahead of March 7 parliamentary polls.

 

"Iraq's authorities need to act now to stop this campaign of violence against Christians from spreading again," Joe Stork, the group's deputy Middle East director, said in a statement.

 

In late 2008, thousands of Christians fled their homes around Mosul after a campaign of assassinations.

 

With the March 7 parliamentary vote drawing closer, attacks against Christians -- whose vote may influence the Kurd-Arab tussle -- could be a sign of voter intimidation, or an attempt by al Qaeda militants to derail the election.

 

There is a quota in parliament for Christian seats, but there are Christian candidates who are closer to the Kurds, others who are independent and some closer to the Arabs. (Reporting by Jamal Al-Badrani; writing by Jack Kimball; editing by Andrew Roche)


 

Fifth Christian killed in a week in north Iraq

http://www.france24.com/en/20100220-fifth-christian-killed-week-north-iraq

20 February 2010

 

AFP - Iraqi police said they found a Christian shopkeeper shot to death in the restive northern city of Mosul on Saturday, the fifth Christian killing in a week thought to be related to March elections.

 

Adnan al-Dahan, a 57-year-old Syrian Orthodox, was found with bullet wounds to his head in the northern Mosul district of al-Belladiyat, police and his relatives said.

 

Dahan had been kidnapped from his grocery shop last week in the neighbourhood of Al-Habda, also in northern Mosul, according to a police officer who did not want to be named.

 

"He was kidnapped last week from his shop but we did not reveal this publicly because we were trying to get him back by paying a ransom," one of Dahan's relatives said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

 

Dahan was the fifth Christian to have been killed during the past week in Mosul, which is located about 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Baghdad and has a Christian population of between 2,000 and 3,000.

 

Local leaders had expressed concern Christians could be targeted ahead of the March 7 parliamentary election in a country wracked by sectarian violence since the US-led invasion of 2003.

 

In November, Human Rights Watch warned minorities in the oil-rich north including Christians were the collateral victims of a conflict between Arabs and Kurds over who controls Iraq's disputed northern provinces.

 

On Wednesday, 20-year-old Assyrian (Aramean) Christian student Wissam George's bullet-riddled body was recovered after he went missing the same morning.

 

A day earlier, a gunman killed 21-year-old engineering student Zia Toma and wounded 22-year-old pharmacy student Ramsin Shmael, both Assyrian (Aramean) Christians.

 

Greengrocer Fatukhi Munir was gunned down inside his shop in a drive-by shooting late on Monday, and armed assailants killed Rayan Salem Elias, a Chaldean, outside his home on Sunday.

 

In late 2008, a systematic campaign of killings and targeted violence killed 40 Christians and saw more than 12,000 flee Mosul.

 


 

Kurdish militia tighten grip on non-Kurdish districts in Iraq’s Mosul

 

By Zeena Sami

 http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2010-02-18\kurd.htm

 

Azzaman, February 18, 2010

 

A senior official in the Province of Nineveh of which Mosul is the capital has denounced the presence of Kurdish armed militias in several provincial districts and towns.

 

In response, the militias, known locally as peshmerga, have tightened their grip on these areas, arresting and harassing people and officials resisting their rule.

 

Osama al-Najaifi accused the Kurds of forging documents and counts in order to legitimize their occupation of these areas.

 

The Kurds have controlled these areas through their militias in an attempt to annex them to their region. This is a move which flagrantly violates the law,” he said.

 

Kurdish militias are even present in Mosul itself. At least half of Mosul, the part on the left bank of the Tigris River, is under Kurdish militia occupation.

 

Most attacks targeting Iraqi minorities, particularly Iraqi Christians, have taken place in areas under Kurdish militia control in Mosul.

 

Officially, the provincial districts which the Kurds control, are part of the Province of Nineveh.

 

But Kurdish militias have the last say in them and this week they mounted an arrest campaign which observers say is politically motivated as it comes a few days before the general elections.

 

The Kurds have put behind bars Hussain Hamadi, the head of the municipal council in the Christian district of Hamdaniya and the head of the police force in the district of Tal Kaif, a few kilometers away from Mosul.

 

A representative of Yazidis, a religious minority of several hundred thousand followers to the north-west of Mosul, said Kurdish militias of Kurdistan Democratic Party headed by Massoud Barzani, head of the Kurdish region, were interfering in his election campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

****************************************************************

 

Arameans of Syria: http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Arameans_Of_Syria.htm

Arameans of Iraq: http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/iraqichristians.htm

 

 


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