MOSUL: Churches in Iraq’s second largest city turned into prison cells by ISIS.
According to latest media reports, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS has been turning churches into prisons in Mosul. Mosul was once home to largest Iraqi Christian community before the militants of ISIS drove them out of the city. Almost all of the Christians in the city fled, some detained, some killed. According to Fides News Agency report, a number of captives of ISIS were recently transferred to the ancient Chaldean church of the Immaculate Conception located in the eastern part of Mosul. While, other sources claim that St. George monastery has also been turned into a place for detention of female captives of ISIS which raises fears that women might be abused here.
Rebwar Audish Basa, Procurator of the Order of St. Anthony sant’Ormisda of the Chaldeans said, “The jihadists of the Caliphate have occupied the churches, including those which are very ancient. Among the concerns that plague us there is also that of those who fear that a possible military offensive for the liberation of Mosul could inevitably lead to consider churches as targets to hit, since they have become logistic bases of the jihadists. And of course, the destruction of old churches would be an irreparable damage and loss.”
Nonetheless, earlier this year ISIS managed to take control of Mosul on June 9, ever since ISIS has over turned the city it has been implementing a strict version of Sharia law while declaring its caliphate. The city has reportedly been almost emptied from its Christian population, According to rough estimates, there were over 60,000 Christians in Mosul. Christians were offered with the choice of converting to Islam, paying a tax or being killed for their faith.
The US led coalition is also targeting Mosul while launching an air campaign against the terror group across the region. Earlier in November, the airstrikes operation killed Radwan Taleb al-Hamdouni, the top ISIS leader in Mosul. According to reports, Hamdouni was killed in a car alongside his driver, and was buried by ISIS soldiers later the same day.