Although the Nineveh Plain has been liberated from ISIS, the scars of this militant group’s barbarism has left the region largely uninhabitable. Eager to rebuild, local communities lack the resources and assistance needed to repair the damage which ISIS left behind. Churches in particular were systematically destroyed by ISIS, and graffiti threatening the safety of Christians is commonly found throughout formerly occupied villages.
08/23/2017 Iraq (Fox News) – Two summers ago, the Nineveh Plain lay in ruin, divided by a trench that stretched hundreds of miles across Northern Iraq, through the heartland of what remained of Christianity in Mesopotamia. Telskuf, a once-thriving Christian town, survived two assaults and brief occupations by ISIS. But ISIS had been driven back toward Mosul.
ISIS had come to wage a war of systematic annihilation against the Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities, whose very existence was a threat to the universal jihad. The soldiers of the caliphate wrote as much on the walls of the churches. Most of the Christians had escaped, but not all. From the trenches of Telskuf, one could look to the south toward another Christian village, Batnaya, and only imagine the destruction.
Today, the Nineveh Plain has been liberated from ISIS. Christians are returning to Telskuf and there is hope, though much reconstructive assistance is still needed.
In Batnaya, however, ISIS left the unmistakable mark of the Caliphate: barbarism and desolation. It is, for now, uninhabitable.