ASIA/IRAQ - Tensions on the Nineveh Plain: new appeal of the Iraqi Bishops for dialogue

Thursday, 26 October 2017 middle east   oriental churches   refugees   geopolitics   nationalisms   sectaniarism

Telkaif (Agenzia Fides) - The "Babylonian Brigades" have attributed to the Kurdish Peshmerga troops the responsibility of military operations that in the evening and night of Tuesday, October 24, pushed the inhabitants of Telkeif - the urban center of the Nineveh Plains, inhabited by Christians - to escape from their homes and to find shelter in nearby towns and villages. According to the leaders of the "Babylonian Brigades" - armed formation led by Rayan al Kildani (Rayan the Chaldean), and includes Christians in its ranks, too - artillery shells that reached a neighborhood of the city, wounding some children and provoking the immediate exodus of more than 600 families, who managed to return to their homes after the defeat of the jihadists of the Islamic State (Daesh), were launched by the Peshemga. Other anonymous sources, cited by the media, argue that the evacuation was implemented on the basis of indications from army government emissaries, in view of an increase in the level of clashes with the Peshmerga. There are only Chaldeon priest Salar Kajo and some of his collaborators in the deserted city.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops of Iraq, at the end of their annual meeting - held in Baghdad on October 24 and 25 - again expressed concern over the tensions and new conflict threats that lie in one of the areas of traditional roots of local Christian communities. In the final document of the meeting, sent to Fides, Iraqi Catholic Bishops have called on national political leaders "to engage in peace through dialogue", and have asked that the cities on the Nineveh Plain do not become the object of division among opposing military forces. (GV (Agenzia Fides, 26/10/2017)