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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chaldean Patriarch Calls on Muslims to Denounce Violence Against Christians



The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

"We Iraqi Christians are a genuine and essential component in Iraq; we would like to stay with you as partners and work together as a team for the progress of our country and the good of our people," Patriarch Louis Sako said in a message to Muslims for Eid al-Adha.

The Islamic State "has displaced us of our towns and even in Baghdad the pressures are exerted on us, but we tell you that we love you because Jesus Christ commanded us to love everyone," he continued. "We believe that all Muslims do not approve the actions of ISIS and there are some of Muslims who are good and considered as a blessing like Dr. Mohammed Al-Asali, who was killed in defense of Christians in Mosul."


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Chaldean Patriarch Calls on Muslims to Denounce Violence Against Christians

Parish Priest, 20 Christians Kidnapped in Syria



The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

The Franciscan Fathers of the Custody of the Holy Land confirm that Franciscan Father Hanna Jallouf, parish priest in Knayeh, was taken by brigades linked to Jahbat Al-Nusra on the night of October 5. Along with Father Hanna, several men of the Christian village were also taken.

The number of those who were kidnapped is not specified. "The Franciscan nuns who were in the convent have taken refuge in some houses of the village," said a statement sent to Fides Agency.

The Custody of the Holy Land says it is not able to confirm where Father Hanna and his parishioners are now and, at this time, they have no possibility of contact with him or his captors. The statement concludes with an invitation to pray for the priest "and for the other victims of this tragic and senseless war."


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Parish Priest, 20 Christians Kidnapped in Syria


Islamists Destroy 7th Century Church, Mosque in Tikrit, Iraq

The Assyrian Green Church in Tikrit, Iraq, built in the 7th century,
which was destroyed by ISIS.


The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

(AINA) -- According to a report by BBC Arabic, Islamists in Tikrit have destroyed The Assyrian Green Church, built in 700 A.D., and Forty Shrine, the oldest Islamic religious shrine in Iraq.

Islamists, most likely ISIS, planted explosives around the Assyrian Green Church, which is located inside the presidential palaces compound in the center of the city, and detonated them, completely destroying the ancient church, which belonged to the Assyrian Church of the East.

Similarly, Islamists planted explosives around the Forty Shrine mosque and surrounding tombs, located in the center of the city in Salahuddin Province, and detonated them, completely destroying the mosque. It is believed the Forty Shrine housed the remains of 40 of Muhammad's comrades, who took part in the Islamic conquest of the region during the reign of the second Caliph Omar ibn al-Khattab in 638 A.D.

ISIS has destroyed churches, religious shrines and mosques in the provinces of Kirkuk and Nineveh, including the tombs of the prophets Jonah, George, Daniel as well as a number of ancient churches in the provinces of Salahuddin and Nineveh. In Mosul ISIS has destroyed or occupied all 45 Christian religious institutions (AINA 2014-07-29).


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Islamists Destroy 7th Century Church, Mosque in Tikrit, Iraq


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Iranian General Helped Iraq's Kurds Battle IS Group



The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

TEHRAN (AP) -- A top Iranian general and 70 of his forces were on the ground in Iraq this summer, helping Kurdish fighters defend the regional capital Irbil against Islamic State militants, a senior commander from Iran's Revolutionary Guard said Wednesday.

The commander's remarks appeared to confirm for the first time that Iranian military forces are playing a battlefield role alongside Iraqis against the Islamic State extremist group, though it was not clear whether they were involved in combat or merely serving as advisers. Iran has said it provides advice to Iraq's government but has denied sending combatants or weapons.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who runs the Guard's aerospace division, said top Gen. Ghasem Soleimani was instrumental in preventing the fall of Irbil.

"If it were not for Iran's help, the IS would have captured (Iraq's) Kurdistan," he said on state television late Tuesday. "Our respected General... Soleimani stood up to IS with only 70 forces and did not allow them to enter Irbil."

The Islamic State militants approached the outskirts of Irbil in August, prompting the United States to launch airstrikes that helped Kurdish forces drive them back.

Soleimani has since 1997 been head of the Quds Force, a division of the elite Revolutionary Guard that carries out special operations outside Iran. He is believed to have played a key role in mobilizing Iranian allies across the region, including the Lebanese Hezbollah group and Shiite militias in Iraq.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, has reportedly described Soleimani as a "living martyr" in recognition of his work.

Although Iran and the United States share a common enemy in the Islamic State group, a deep-seated lack of trust has so far kept the longtime foes from publicly allying against the extremists.

While the U.S. has led air strikes against Islamic State militants, Iran is believed to have played a key role on the ground mobilizing Iraqi Kurdish and Shiite forces, including for last month's retaking of the northern Iraqi city of Amirli , which had been besieged by Islamic State militants for more than two months.


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Iranian General Helped Iraq's Kurds Battle IS Group


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