ASIA/IRAQ - After Mosul, the jihadists of ISIL aim for Kirkuk. Patriarch Sako: a government of national unity is needed

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Kirkuk (Agenzia Fides) - After the capture of Mosul, the advance continues on the Iraqi territory on behalf of rebels of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the jihadist faction also active in the Syrian conflict. On Tuesday, June 10 also large areas of the governorate of Kirkuk fell under their control and, according to local sources, the rebels of ISIL are now stationed at the gates of the city 250km from the capital Baghdad. Meanwhile, according to information gathered by Fides, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, Amel Shamon Nona, and all the priests of the city have fled from the urban areas and found refuge in the villages of Kramles and Tilkif.
The Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Louis Raphael I Sako, who along with other Chaldean Bishops was paying a visit to the Chaldean communities spread across Canada and the United States, issued a statement on the dramatic events taking place in Iraq, urging all its citizens not to panic and to be united. "We - Patriarch Sako writes in the message sent to Fides Agency - believe that the best solution to all these problems is the creation of a government of national unity in order to strengthen the control of the State and the rule of law in order to protect the Country, its citizens and their property and preserve national unity".
The Chaldean Patriarch makes reference to the importance of Mosul also from a historical point of view: Iraq’s second largest city is situated in the area of ancient Nineveh, the Assyrian capital, also mentioned in the Bible. In the final part of the message, His Beatitude Sako invokes "God’s help, source of all peace," so that all Iraqis can face the trials with courage and experience the gift of peace in their lives. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 11/06/2014)