The Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, Amel Shamon Nona, has fled the Iraqi city of Mosul along with the vast majority of the 1,200 Christian families who were left in the city after it fell into the hands of revels of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) late last week.
“Now in Mosul jihadist militants control the city and the situation is calm. But we do not know who they are and what they want to do now” Nona told Fides.
The Archbishop and his priests are sheltering in villages in the Nineveh Plain such as Kramles and Tilkif but says a considerable amount of damage was left in their wake.
“Our church dedicated to the Holy Spirit was depredated by gangs of robbers yesterday and the day before yesterday, while the city was captured by the ISIL. But Muslim families living in the surrounding area have called their Islamist militants, who intervened, putting an end to the looting. The same Muslim families phoned us to let us know that they themselves are controlling the church, and will not allow the jackals to return.”
Nona was unable to confirm rumors that the militants had imposed sharia law on the masses, including upon whatever Christians were left in the city. He did say, however, that the only Christians who are left in the city are the elderly who are unable to escape due to their age and health condition.
The vast majority of those fleeing the city are Muslims, he said.
Nona was concerned about the pliancy of the Iraqi army and police forces before the arrival of ISIL.
“What I can say is that what has happened is a mystery,” the Archbishop said. “It is not known how soldiers and police managed to leave the city in less than an hour, leaving weapons and means of transport. All this raises many questions”.
Fides reports that the Archbishop’s church is the same church in which Father Ragheed Ganni was killed along with three deacons on June 3, 2007 and where and where Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, was abducted. Rahho’s lifeless body was found almost a year later.
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