The Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU) is one of the Christian militias in northern Iraq actively battling against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Now, the fighting group primarily composed of Assyrian Christian volunteers is now expecting American aid, in light of the United States House of Representatives announcing that direct assistance will be sent to local security forces in Iraq.
“[American assistance] will give equality to all the ethnic groups here,” said Col. Jawat Habib Abboush, as quoted by the Associated Press. Abboush is the deputy commander of NPU.
(Reuters/Ari Jalal)Scott, (C) a Westerner who has joined the Iraqi Christian militia Dwekh Nawsha to fight against Islamic militants, carries his weapon at the office of the Assyrian political party in Dohuk, northern Iraq, February 13, 2015.
“This is our country, we had a civilization here for a thousand years and we are still citizens of this country … We cannot be marginalized,” he added.
The Nineveh Plain Protection Units was formed under the program Restore Nineveh Now. It aims to safeguard existing Assyrian and Yazidi lands and to reclaim the other regions that ISIS has sieged. The native defense force is being organized, trained and equipped with the help of the Assyrian Democratic Movement. In addition, members of the militia are primarily composed of Assyrian volunteers who have previous experience fighting against ISIS.
Aside from the support that it would get from the United States, Restore Nineveh Now is also hoping that the international community and other Assyrians living abroad would also give aid to the Assyrian Democratic Movement. The program is planning to expand the NPU in terms of strength and size by deploying some troops in villages that have not been attacked by ISIS.
“We need your social media help; we need your political muscle; and we need your financial backing. ISIS is not going to be defeated and the Nineveh Plain Province established through mere words or demonstrations,” the NPU posted in its official website.