Threat of ISIS on Border Raises Iraq to High Alert
02/22/2019 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – The fight against ISIS in Syria’s village of Baghouz has led militants to attempt to flee across the border into Iraq. The country’s military has increased the alert level, fearful that the fighters will attempt to regroup in areas previously held by ISIS.
One such area is the Nineveh Plains, the traditional homeland of Iraq’s Christians. Uncertainty about the security situation, combined with a lack of infrastructure and resources, has made many Christians reluctant to return home following displacement. According to a recent report issued by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), the region continues to host over 1 million internally displaced persons. Approximately 7% of this number are Christian minorities. The annual cost of hosting these IDPs is $2 billion, according to the KRG.
The situation has placed an immense strain on resources, as well as the physical and emotional well-being of persons displaced by ISIS. As victims of genocide, Iraq’s Christians are extremely reluctant to return to their homes, which were occupied and destroyed by ISIS. A lack of community trust, a lack of resources, instability, and unpredictability have left many wary that any future remains for them inside Iraq.
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