ISIS Presence Remains in Nineveh Plains

11/16/2018 Iraq (International Christian Concern) –  This week, the Iraqi News Agency reported that over 20 ISIS militants were killed and 14 arrested during a widespread military operation in the Nineveh Plains. Even though ISIS was declared militarily defeated nearly one year ago, the presence of ISIS remains in Iraq as well as their ideology.

ISIS swept across the Nineveh Plains in 2014, displacing tens of thousands of the religious minorities who had called this area their home. Christians have lived in the Nineveh Plains for centuries, and many had migrated there from other parts of Iraq in an attempt to escape persecution. Intense persecution in Iraq had caused Christians to flee following the 2003 invasion and the 2010 Baghdad church bombing. Christians again left Iraq in massive waves following their 2014 displacement by ISIS.

The conditions which contributed not only to the rise of ISIS but also to the persecution of Christians which predates 2014 have not been addressed. Iraqi Christians remain marginalized and disproportionately vulnerable to the consequences of Iraq’s failed security environment. The continued presence of ISIS in the Nineveh Plains even beyond their declared military defeat further discourages displaced Christians from returning home.

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