Thousands of Assyrians flee fighting in north Iraq

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Thousands of Assyrians flee fighting in north Iraq

The Assyrian International News Agency

Nearly all of the population of Qaraqosh, 50,000 Assyrians, has fled the city amid fighting between the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Kurds. Syrian Catholic Archbishop Mar Youhana Boutros Moshe attempted to negotiate with ISIS and the Kurds to convince them to leave the city, but the negotiations failed. ISIS and the ‘Revolutionary Tribes’ (Sunnis) are set to storm the city.

According to Bishop Yousif Habash of the Syriac Orthodox Church in New Jersey, Qaraqosh (also known as Baghdede) is now almost completely abandoned. A source reporting from Qaraqosh told AINA the population has fled to Arbel, Dohuk, Alqosh, Tel Kepe, Telsqop and Ankawa. Monasteries and churches are filled with displaced Christian refugees from Baghdede. There is an urgent need for food, water, medical aid and blankets.

Kurdish forces and ISIS pounded each other with mortars. The Kurds have positioned themselves on the east side of Qaraqosh, ISIS and the ‘Revolutionary Tribes’ have stationed themselves on the west and south side, near the villages of Tawajna and Qurtaba-Arab and south of Balawat.

The city is known by three names: Baghdede in Assyrian, Hamdaniya in Arabic and Qaraqosh in Turkish.

In another development, Patriarch John X Yazigi of Antioch and All the East for Greek Orthodox Church called for raising the voice loudly at international” Deaf ” forums to convey what is happening in Syria of kidnapping acts and sacrilege of sanctities.

The patriarch, during the opening ceremony of the Antioch conference in Beirut, called on the international community to solve the issue of all abductees in Syria, including the two bishops John Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi. “Every soul who was victim of terrorism and violence causes pain and sadness to our hearts,” Patriarch Yazigi said.

He also referred to the deep-rooted origin of the Christians in the region, adding that Christians will stay in this land despite all conditions.

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 11:44
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