Mosul (Agenzia Fides) – On Monday, October 3, the Kurdish Peshmerga army attacked positions of the Islamic State (Daesh) in the city of Bartala, also known as Bartella, located 20 kilometers east of Mosul, in the Nineveh province. The city was inhabited mostly by Syrian Christians, forced to flee in the summer of 2014 before the advance of the jihadists of the Islamic Caliphate, that had conquered Mosul on June 9 of that year. Kurdish military sources, relaunched by Kurdish ARANews Agency, reported that the bombing would have caused the destruction of a good part of the jihadist bases located in the city. The bombing was followed by the ground attack, which caused casualties both among the jihadis and the Peshmerga.
Bartella was attacked by Kurdish soldiers also for its strategic location, not far from the eastern entrance of Mosul.
Many analysts believe that the attack on Bartella suggests that the assault of the US-led coalition in Mosul, Iraqi stronghold of the Islamic State, is imminent.
In November 2013, the first conference sponsored by the association "Friends of Bartella" was held in the city attacked by the Peshmerga, created in April 2013 with the aim to document and combat the long-term processes designed to change the demographic balance in areas traditionally inhabited by Christian communities, starting from the Nineveh Plain. Processes initiated well before the arrival of the jihadists of Daesh, in a country torn by an explosion of sectarian violence, which have intensified since the end of the regime of Saddam Hussein. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 04/10/2016)