BAGHDAD: Police, Iraqi military and Christian military troops withdrawn from Nineveh plains, Christians express anger over abandonment.
According to reports, the Iraqi government has issued orders to remove 4 thousand soldiers including police, Iraqi military and Christian military who were previously deployed in North provinces of Iraq, including the province of Nineveh. These troops will be stationed in Baghdad after removal from the Northern provinces. These regions are heavily horded by militant group ISIS.
Nineveh Province is a Christian majority province, and withdrawal of troops has aggravated strong reactions on behalf of organizations and Christian politicians. These troops were deployed because of invasion of the militant group which has been causing great massacre in the Nineveh province and other regions.
Moreover, Iraqi government’s decision to remove troops from the ISIS struck region, has caused confusion among the Christian political leaders concerning the announcement of an “offensive” to liberate Mosul from the clutches of ISIS. Mosul fell in the hands of ISIS more than a year ago and still is under the rule of the jihadist group who has proclaimed a Caliphate.
The police and Christian military in particular are not willing to move to Baghdad. The Christian military is currently in Erbil and other areas of Iraqi Kurdistan because they want to be on the front line.
At the same time, a member of the provincial Council of Nineveh, Anwar Hidayat, has urged the central government and the Iraqi Interior Ministry to exclude police and Christian military from the announced operations to re-conquer the Nineveh Plain. Similarly a Christian politician Imad Youkhana, a member of parliament in Baghdad has insisted the government to review its decision.
However, the according to a member of the Brigades of Babylon”, the transfer of police and Christian military to Baghdad is compulsory so as to allow almost 350 policemen and Christian soldiers of the Nineveh Plain to attend special training courses.
According to him, the Iraqi Christian soldiers may be called upon to defend their country in every area, not just in the regions particularly inhabited by Christians, if they are to contribute to the defence of a plural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation, further counteracting the splitting up on sectarian basis.