Alqosh (Agenzia Fides) - The Nineveh Plain Protection Units (PNU), a paramilitary organization established in Iraq in 2014, consisting mainly of Assyrian Christians, Syrians and Chaldeans, has announced the opening of a recruitment campaign on a voluntary basis, particularly aimed at young men of the local Christian communities of Mosul and Nineveh Plain region willing to participate in military operations to reconquer and defend the towns of the land that had been occupied by the jihadists of the Islamic State.
The text calling for the enlistment campaign, urges young Christians to enlist voluntarily in the Protection Units to facilitate and ensure the safe return of thousands of Christians who had fled from the cities of the Plain of Nineveh between June and August 2014, before the advance of the jihadi militias. The document also lists the names of those to contact to communicate one’s intention to enlist.
At the end of November (see Fides 01/12/2016), General Riad Jalal Tawfiq, commander of the Iraqi army's ground forces engaged in the reconquest of Mosul, had confirmed that the armed Protection Units organized on a sectarian basis, including groups composed of Syrian and Assyrian Christians, would have been formally involved in the system of security and self-defense of the areas of the Nineveh Plain already taken away from the jihadists of the Islamic State (Daesh). The Iraqi general had added that local militias who established themselves on tribal or ethnic-confessional basis (including Turkmens and members of ethnic and religious minority Shabak) will have a prominent role in the reception management and the provision of food and basic necessities for the refugees who are returning to their homes. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 06/12/2016)