Live updates: ISIS invasion of Mosul and other Iraqi cities and the Assyrian Christian suffering

***Scroll to the bottom for the latest updates***



ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) took control of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul (province of Nineveh) on June 9, 2014, and ever since, the terrorist group Iraq-ISIS-maphas been terrorizing the region, killing those who oppose it, toppling mosques and churches, imposing very strict shariah law and now trying to broaden its control by attempting to invade and take over other nearby cities, towns and villages.

From an Assyrian prospective, this has been nothing short of catastrophic and tragic. Tens of thousands of Assyrian Christians have been kicked out from their homes in Mosul. In fact, for the first time in almost 1800 years, the city is virtually empty of any Christians. The Christians had no choice, as they were given three options: convert to Islam, pay a Jizya (tax on the non-Muslims) or escape. Otherwise, the sword was awaiting them. Their churches have been demolished or converted to mosques. Properties and homes have been confiscated. A lot have lost family members as the direct result of ISIS bloody way of conducting its business.

With Mosul being close to the Nineveh Plain (a series of towns and villages that are populated by people with a predominantly Assyrian Christian identity) those people living there are also in direct danger of an impending ISIS march. People in the Assyrian town of Qaraqosh for example, have already had to flee their homes more than once, in fear of an approaching ISIS invasion of the town.

Given this as a backdrop, Assyrians and Christians from Iraq and currently living in the diaspora, have responded with force. Seeing the destruction and mayhem being caused to their people and ancestral homelands in Iraq, they have come out in force to protest and call attention to what is happening. Literally hundreds of thousands of demonstrators came out in the last few weeks to protest against what is happening in Iraq. Assyrians and non-Assyrians alike, Christians and Muslims, and so many in between, all came out in various cities around the world to show their support and solidarity with the Christians of Iraq and demanding an end to the violence against them.

Out of this global movement of protest came two rather interesting phrases or hashtags, that have been used literally tens of thousands of times on social media, posters and in various other forms, as a way of uniting the solidarity effort:

Arabic letter christian facebook twitter profile

The Arabic letter Noon (N) has come to become the symbol of protest against ISIS in Mosul, Iraq. The Arabic letter in this case stands for ‘Nasrani’ (a word used by Muslim terrorists to refer to Christians.) This is to help them easily distinguish these homes from other homes and be able to take it away from its Christian owners

-#WeAreN: when ISIS invaded Mosul in early June, they started marking Christian homes with the Arabic letter ‘N’ (ن) . The letter in this case stands for ‘Nasrani’ (a word used by Muslim terrorists to refer to Christians.) This is to help them easily distinguish these homes from other homes and be able to take it away from its Christian owners. In response to this heinous act, Assyrian Christians, Iraqis and many other sympathizers from all over the world came together and stood in solidarity with their Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq have declared that ‘We are All N’ . The ISIS attempt to kick people from their homes and cities, where they have lived for generations and generations, didn’t sit well with so many around the world and they have made it loud and clear. 

-#DemandforActions: this is another popular rallying hashtag that was born out of this whole thing. The name says it all: given the silence by Obama, the US government and many major world powers, Assyrian and other activists thought there was an immediate and urgent need for action. Those with power and influence needed to do something to stop this ISIS invasion from further getting worse and emptying the region of its ancestral and original residents: the Assyrian Christians!

Events are moving so fast that even social media, given its fast and timely nature, can’t keep up. At Assyrian Voice, we have already done our best to cover the events and report on them as much as we can. We have used our twitter account as well as our popular discussion forums to do so.  But we thought there has to be another way of doing this, centralized in one location, where most of the major updates are posted. This is it. We will use this to post major news and updates, including pictures, videos and translations from other Arabic sources. Check back often for new updates.


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