Mosul and the Ninveveh plains – Update: 2014-06-25

The map of Iraq is currently being redrawn as the country is getting divided since the Iraqi government lost control of Mosul on June 11th 2014. ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is since then in total control of the city of Mosul. Previously disputed areas between the Iraqi government, KRG (Kurdish Regional Government) such as the Nineveh plains have now been claimed but KRG. The Iraqi government is still unable to enter the areas it has lost control of. This has led to an aggravation of the humanitarian crisis in and around Mosul and an increasing flow of IDPs (Internally Displaced People) into the Nineveh Plains, Kirkuk and KRG cities such as Nohadra (Duhok) and Erbil. The number of IDPs has now reached over a million due to the continued insecurity in the 2 million inhabitants’ city of Mosul.

The Assyrians have been severely affected by the situation. More than 1000 Assyrian families left their homes and belongings to flee to the Nineveh Plains and surrounding areas. The approximately 1000 Assyrian families that stayed in Mosul are in a very critical situation. Mosul is cut off from electricity, drinking water, cooking gas and petrol. Salaries are left unpaid and people fear for their lives every minute of every day.

It is unclear how long the situation will stay unchanged. ISIL is still in control of the city and inhabitants fear that Iraqi military retaliation will lead to more casualties and isolation. Assyrians Without Borders’ partners tell us that armed groups have settled in Christian families’ empty houses or used them as military bases. The amount of IDPs increases daily due to the uncertain future of Mosul.

Our sources confirm once more that two Churches have been targeted in Mosul up until now. The first one was an Armenian Church under construction where Iraqi soldier took cover. It was hit by missiles on the first days of the conflict. The second one, Al Tahira Church, also known as Lady of Tigris, was vandalized as its statue of the Virgin Mary was removed. This church is considered the headquarter of the Chaldean diocese and was targeted along with many other Assyrian symbolic and historical places in Mosul.

The situation in the Nineveh Plains is becoming more and more acute as the Nineveh governorate is falling apart. The Nineveh Plains suffer from a shortage of resources, such as electricity and water that normally go through and are distributed from Mosul. The situation in the Nineveh Plains is critical. There is also a shortage of petrol and cooking gas which has led to an inflation that will have devastating consequences on the entire community.

Our partners, Assyrian Aid Society Iraq (AASI), mapped the number of IDPs in the Nineveh plains on June 25rd, all ethnicities considered:

– Baghdeda 250 families

– Alqosh and Sharafiya 272 families

– Karemlesh 115 families

– Bartella 135 families

– Ein Sifni 45 families

– Telkeif 65 families

– Batnaye 87 families

– Tellisqof 240 families

– Ba’shiqa, Bahzani and Mar Matti 130 families

This brings the total number of internally displaced families to 1339 including Assyrians. AASI estimates that approximately 65-70% of the IDPs are Assyrians.

Assyrian Aid Society reacted instantly to the crisis and started assisting displaced people already from day one, on June 11th. AASIs biggest aid action towards Assyrian displaced families was conducted on June 23rd in Tellesqof in cooperation with Assyrians Without Borders.

Assyrians Without Borders and its partners want to thank all donors for their support and urge more people to reach out to Assyrians in despair.

To donate from Sweden make a deposit to Plusgiro 90 01 21-5 or Bankgiro 900-1215. You can also send a text message to 72970 and write:

– aug akut50 ( to donate 50kr)

– aug akut100 ( to donate 100kr)

– aug akut200 ( to donate 200kr)

To donate from countries other than Sweden, make a deposit to:

Nordea Bank AB, SE -105 71 Stockholm, BIC address NDEASESS, IBAN SE65 9500 0099 6018 0900 1215 and write “Mosul” in the message field.

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