ISIS, Kurds Clash Near Assyrian Town, 2000 Assyrian Families Driven From Mosul


Date:  2014-07-25

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

MOSUL, IRAQ (ANS) -- ISIS and Kurdish forces clashed yesterday at about 10 PM on the outskirts of Tel Kepe, an Assyrian town 13 miles north of Mosul.

Tel Kepe, upper left, where ISIS and Kurds are fighting

According to a report by the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), ISIS tried to take over a medicine factory about 1.5 miles west of Tel Kepe, but was forced to go back after a short battle.

The latest count of the number of Assyrian families driven out of Mosul stands at 2,000.

The following report is from the Christian Aid Program Nohadra Iraq (CAPNI), an aid organization of the Assyrian Church of the East.

In Mosul, all 30 churches and monasteries are under ISIS control. Crosses have been removed from all of them. Many of them have been burned, destroyed and looted, and many are used as ISIS centers

Here are a few examples.

AINA said ISIS converted the St. Ephraim Syriac Orthodox Cathedral in Al Shurta district (east side of Mosul) to a mosque and installed loudspeakers for call to prayers.

The Syriac Catholic church in the old part of Mosul was looted and torched. The Mar Gewargis (St. George) monastery was looted.

The Mar Thomas (St. Thomas) Syriac Catholic historical and old chu rch was also looted after the doors were broken.

According to AINA, the Mar Behnam (St. Behnam) Syriac Catholic monastery in the ancient Assyrian town of Nimrod is controlled by ISIS.

Religious Sunni, Shiite and Christian tombs have been destroyed, according to Sharia. Shiite prayer mosques (Hussayniya) have been demolished.

AINA said all non-Sunni communities have been targeted by ISIS. Christian, Yazidi and Shiite religious sites have been destroyed. Turkish and Shabak Shiites have fled from their homes and villages.

Nearly 80 percent of the residents of Baghdede (Hamdaniya/Qaraqosh) have returned after fleeing from fighting between ISIS and Kurds.

Baghdede, with a population of 50,000, is 97 percent Assyrian. There is still a severe shortage of electricity and water still cut off. Residents are using wells for water.

All municipal services have stopped.

The same conditions exist for the Assyrian towns of Bartilla, Bashiqa and Bahzany.

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