S4C News | Meuwissen Sebastien | March 30, 2020
Baghdad and Mosul are overrun by Shiite paramilitary groups who receive funding and weapons from Iran. These groups helped defeat ISIS, but, two years after the group’s defeat, they refused to move on, even at the Prime minister’s request. From that moment, thousands of Christians in Iraq live under their influence, including in Tel Keppe, the former centre of Chaldean Catholicism in Iraq, as well as Bartella, the current centre of Syriac Orthodoxy in Iraq.
The towns of the Nineveh Plains, a region near Mosul, constitutes the historic homeland of Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriacs. Today, ISIS remains in this area, but a more immediate threat to the local population comes from Iranian influence.
Rami Esa Saqat, 26, a Syriac Catholic and recent graduate of the University of Mosul, lives in Qaraqosh. “We live in constant fear of being attacked by the Iran-backed militias,” he said. “Over a long period of time, much trouble has been caused by the militias.”