Coordinated attacks by Peshmerga and local militias push ISIS forces back towards Syria.
Nineveh/Aleteia (aleteia.org/ar) – The Kurdish-Iraqi Deputy Mahma Khalil confirmed that approximately seventy percent of the Governorate of Nineveh has been liberated from ISIS control. He noted that the terrorist organization has lost thousands of fighters over the past few weeks.
In an interview he explained that coordinated attacks by the Peshmerga in cooperation with armed tribal militias forced a number of ISIS fighters to withdraw towards Syria.
Conversely, Christian Nineveh Provincial Council member Anwar Hidayat mentioned that the city of Mosul has been pushed back into the middle ages. He further noted that Christians have been the victims of the most violent attacks to which anyone has been exposed in the history of Mesopotamia. The Iraqi Official added during a press conference held in the headquarters for the Italian Chamber of Deputies that the Yazidis in Iraq have been exposed to efforts to exterminate them just as Christians are being subjected to ethnic cleansing. He indicated that they have lost all hope of ever remaining in their homeland.
Hidayat clarified that somewhere between 120 and 130 thousand Christians have been displaced from their lands and have sought refuge in the city of Ankawa located near Arbil where they are living in extremely inhumane conditions. Meanwhile, an Iraqi Christian official made an appeal to Italy, the Vatican and international groups in behalf of working to support the new Iraqi Government. Furthermore, he is asking them to launch a political dialogue capable of defending the political process in the country in order to assist the Kurdistan Provincial government economically, politically and in the field of security.
Observers in the area believe that the Anbar Province risks falling into the hands of ISIS fighters, which poses a significant threat to Baghdad. Local sources in Anbar confirm that ISIS Jihadists over the past few weeks have been fortifying their position in the province. This has enabled them to control a broad strategic area along the road that links the Anbar capital of Ramadi with the Haditha area. (It is worth mentioning that the second largest dam in Iraq is located here.)
Anbar Provincial Council Deputy Chairman, Faleh al-Issawi, commented on this in a Wall Street Journal interview, saying that the situation in Anbar is extremely grave and that ISIS is increasingly putting pressure on the Province and Baghdad. All of this is taking place at the same time that the world is preoccupied with what is happening in the northern Syrian city of Kobani.
This article was translated from the Arabic byDonald Puhlman.