Qaraqosh, where a fourth of Iraq's Christians live, captured by IS
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/8/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The welfare of Iraq's Christian minority has grown even worse -- The Islamic State jihadist group captured Qaraqosh, where a fourth of Iraq's Christians resides, after the withdrawal of Kurdish forces. That city's Christians are reported fleeing after Islamic militants seized the minority group's biggest town.
Tens of thousands of religious minorities have been forced to flee since IS has launched its onslaught.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In response to the grave developments, the United States has warned that the situation for Iraq's minority groups threatens to become a "humanitarian catastrophe.
"We are gravely concerned for their health and safety," White House spokesman Josh Earnest says.
SAVE Iraqi Christians from Genocide --
Many of the Iraqi Christians who fled the violence have arrived in the Kurdish city of Erbil.
Earnest refused to confirm a New York Times report that the U.S. is considering air strikes to help the Yazidi community, another minority group in northern Iraq.
The jihadist terrorist group has been gaining ground in northern Iraq since June, as well as controlling some of Syria.
About 50,000 Yazidis are thought to have been trapped in the mountains after fleeing the town of Sinjar. The United Nations says that some of them have since been rescued.
Iraq's Christian population has plummeted in recent years.
The United Nations Security Council is due to meet in emergency session this week to discuss the situation.
Tens of thousands of religious minorities have been forced to flee since IS has launched its onslaught. IS says it has created an Islamic state in the territory it controls.
There is even more chaos and displacement as a majority of Nineveh inhabitants left their homes overnight, according to Fraternite en Irak, an international Christian organization based in Paris.
IS is also thought to be behind a string of car bombs in Baghdad on Wednesday.
Several senior clergymen in Nineveh confirmed the town had fallen. "It's a catastrophe, a tragic situation: tens of thousands of terrified people are being displaced as we speak," Joseph Thomas, the Chaldean archbishop of the northern city of Kirkuk says.
As many as 100,000 people are believed to be fleeing toward the autonomous Kurdistan Region.
In the meantime, Pope Francis has made an impassioned appeal to the international community to do much more to address the crisis.
A Vatican statement said the Pope had appealed for "all necessary help" to be given to those forced to flee their homes, "whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others."
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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