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Christians face new ‘catastrophe’ as militias attack Nineveh Plain: Assyrian MP
An Iraqi Christian holds a cross during a mass at the Saint-Joseph church in Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. (Photo: AFP/Safin Hamed/Newscom)
Kurdistan Iraq Nineveh Plain Christians
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – As a result of the Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi’s attacks on Peshmerga forces in the Nineveh Plain, many Christians who had returned to their liberated areas have been displaced once again, according to an Assyrian parliament member.
Wahida Yaqo Hurmiz, an MP from the Chaldean/Assyrian Syriac bloc in the Kurdistan Region’s Parliament said on Wednesday that many Christian families who had returned to the Peshmerga-liberated areas in the Nineveh Plain have recently been displaced again by Hashd al-Shaabi attacks since October 16.
“Christians are facing another catastrophe in the Nineveh Plain despite the defeat of [Islamic State (IS)] because of Shia militias who are committing many violations against our people,” Hurmiz told a local Kurdish outlet.
Some of the displaced Christians from the liberated areas have been resettled in Telsquf and Alqush while some other families are residing elsewhere in the Kurdistan Region, she added, asserting that Christians would not be able to return to their areas until the militia groups’ left the Nineveh Plain.
Khalid Albert, General Director of Christian Affairs in the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, stated that after the liberation of the Nineveh Plain, 5,700 Christian families returned to Qaraqosh, Bartella, Telsquf, and Batma.
He confirmed that many of those families have been displaced again as the Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia launched an incursion alongside Iraqi forces in the northern area – without specifying how many Christians had to flee.
According to the KRG’s Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC), 3,400 families, including Christians, have recently been forced to abandon Telskuf, Zummar, and Shingal (Sinjar) and relocated to safe areas in the Kurdistan Region.
Editing by Nadia Riva