Since the ousting of ISIL from Christian areas about six months, but until now, Iraqi families are unable to return there due to the lack of water and electricity. The promises made by the Americans and the French are forgotten. Iraqi Christians hope for Russia, but she is inactive, despite their weight in the international community and a special place in the Christian world.
Forgotten promises by the Americans and the French a few months ago, on the restoration of Christian quarters in nearby Mosul (Nineveh province) the oldest cities of Iraq that were destroyed and looted by ISIS (banned in Russia — approx. ed.), from mid-2014.
Since the ousting of ISIL from the Christian areas, especially in the valley of Nineveh, South of Mosul, on 28 November 2016, about six months, but until now, Iraqi families are unable to return there due to the lack of essential goods such as water and electricity.
On Sunday, in an interview to a reporter of the Agency Sputnik, the head of “Units of protection of the valley of Nineveh” (The Nineveh Plain Protection Units) Behnam Abbas said that, despite the complexity of the situation, the Iraqis are eager to return to their homes.
According to him, if devastated areas in the valley of Nineveh was restored, and the state would be able to provide residents with basic amenities, more than half of displaced persons have returned to their own homes, and if would be provided to other services in their areas would go back without exception displaced persons.
Abbas expressed regret over the fact that the Iraqi government is unable to provide these utilities. In particular, is still not established water not available electricity not restored schools, which, he hopes, will open its doors in the next academic year, and then people will again begin to live as before. He also noted that gradually starts returning IDPs in the Nineveh valley, and about 20-25% of IDPs will return to their homes after the end of the current academic year.
The promises of the US and France
At the beginning of the operation to free the Nineveh valley, the region was visited by American and French representatives, including the French Consul. When they saw the destruction of many perpetrated by the ISIS from the first day of the seizure of the territory in mid-2014 to the beginning of military operations against groups that have pledged to contribute to the restoration of these areas. As stated Abbas, the Americans and the French Consul promised that will allocate a certain amount of money to develop alternative water supply project in the valley, which was confirmed also the head of the delegation, stating that the work to restore neighborhoods will begin soon, but this still has not happened.
Accusations against Russia
Abbas also criticized Russia, which lies dormant in spite of its weight in the international community and a special place in the Christian world. He said that Russia was obliged to support the Christian community in Iraq, at least morally, and Iraqis expect the President of Russia Vladimir Putin finally turn to the Christians who are dying in Iraq at the hands of ISIS.
Abbas urged the Russian Federation to provide the necessary support for Christian militia “Units for the protection of the valley of Nineveh”, to provide them with everything necessary to ensure that they could protect their land from destruction at the hands of terrorists.
He reported that they receive approximately 200 rifles from the United States, machines with humanitarian aid from France and the water tanks from Germany.
Destruction and a desire to return
According to Abbuse among the most affected areas of the Assyrian city Caracas located in the province of Nineveh in Northern Iraq (about 32 km South-East of Mosul city). Before he was captured by ISIS, there were about 50-60 thousand people. Thus, it was captured about 10 million homes.
As a whole, suffered 56% of the total number of houses in the city, of which 37% were destroyed and burned, and 5% were completely destroyed and is now uninhabitable. As mentioned Abbas, formed in the valley of Nineveh, the special Committee is composed of 40 engineers of different specializations: they assess the extent of the damage and the amount of funds needed to restore the devastated areas.
By themselves, these demolitions are not an obstacle for Christians wishing to return to their homes. They were forced to leave these places under pressure from ISIS, after they were given a choice to change religion, to pay the “jizya,” or be killed.
On palm Sunday, which fell on 9 April, the Christians in the district Hamdania — one of the main areas of Nineveh came to the ruined Church, where stood the mass and read the prayers, which asked for a speedy return to their homes.
As stated Abbas, the ceremony was attended by more than 1,500 people, including Christians from other Iraqi provinces. However, 90% of those who came to Hamdani, is its former inhabitants, who were forced to leave their homes, 5% present — inhabitants of other areas, and 3% are foreigners, journalists, and representatives of local and foreign civil societies.
Finally Abbas noted that all of these people, in spite of the difficult conditions arrived in Hamdania to take part in religious ceremonies on palm Sunday.
According to Abuse, the number of “Units of protection of the valley of Nineveh” is 500 people, among them people from the affected areas, such as Caracas, Bartella and Batna, they are all forced migrants, but their number is too small, and the state does not grant permission for its increase.
He added that according to military estimates, the number of units should reach 1500-2000 people, but the state does not agree to such extension under the pretext of lack of funds. Disagree and Kurdistan, because they do not want to have appeared in the region that can compete with the Peshmerga troops. They believe that the “Troops protecting the valley of Nineveh” — a temporary formation, which exists until the valley has not returned IDPs.
Despite this Abbas requires an increase in the number of fighters in the units and their weapons, just as it was done in relation to all the other groups that volunteered to fight against ISIS to protect their land.
He noted that while other teams are getting armored vehicles and different weapons, “Detachments of protection of the Nineveh valley,” received from the state only one car “Hummer” weighing half a ton.
The Secretary-General “of the Assyrian democratic Union”, the Deputy of the Iraqi Parliament, Kanna Nadim in an interview with Sputnik on 11 April stated that according to available since 1987 statistics, over the past 30 years, Iraq left at least 700 thousand people, in particular, at the hands of ISIS ran about 200 thousand people, of which 50-60 thousand migrated from the valley of Nineveh and Mosul.