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05/20/2019 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – The Islamic State (ISIS) insurgency appears to be gaining traction in Iraq as the militants leave a trail of fire and smoke in their wake.

Hundreds of agricultural fields across the country have been burned by the hardline Islamic extremists, including farms in the Nineveh Plains, where most of Iraq’s Christians have historically lived. In Mosul, the capital of Nineveh, the militants burned twelve homes. It appears that these fires are a consequence of a combined mixture of retribution attacks and a tactic for financial extortion.

In the Nineveh Plains, agriculture is just starting to get rebooted following the massive amount of destruction which ISIS left behind. Many Christians farmers have struggled to relaunch their own projects, as agriculture in Iraq has a high financial barrier and the farmers were left economically devastated by ISIS. For those who have restarted their farms, there is always fear that ISIS may return at any point and again destroy their lives. For this reason, ISIS’s latest arson activities are of great concern to many Iraqi Christians.

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