Assyrian Christians Defending Their Homeland from Islamic State Genocide

In a “Crime Against Humanity” on January 8, 1914 a Jihad was declared by the Ottoman Empire against “all Christians”; it was a government ordered genocide against Greeks, Assyrian, and Armenian Christians, the genocide resulted in the brutal murders of over one million Christians over the next two years.  For over the last 3 years, the world has been witnessing another “Crime Against Humanity”; today the same type Jihad that was perpetrated against Christians over 100 years ago by the Ottoman Turks, is being perpetrated by ISIL and Al Q’ieda in another bloody genocide against Syrian in Syria and against Assyrian Christians on the Plains of Ninveh in Iraq.

The Plain of Nineveh is the 2000+ year old ancient homeland of Aramaic speaking Assyrian Christians in what used to be Mesopotamia, but is called Iraq today.  The Assyrian Christians pride themselves on being the oldest ethnic Christian community in continuous existence since Jesus Christ walked the face of the earth; they speak the same language Christ spoke, worship in churches the Christ’s Disciples founded, and since Roman times theses courageous Assyrian Christians have been persecuted and murdered for refusing to denounce their faith in Jesus Christ.  The Pope called the Assyrian Church “The Martyr Church.”  Hundreds of ancient Assyrian Christian Churches, some that go back as far as 1800 years are being burned to the ground, along with their ancient religious artifacts and historic bibles by ISIL and Al Q’ieda; the Tomb of Jonah has also been destroyed.  For over 3 years particularly vulnerable Assyrian Christians have been fleeing their ancient ancestral homeland in the Nineveh Plain from the onslaught of ISIL and Al Q’ieda, seeking protection from the Kurdish Pershmerga Forces from the bloody genocide that has been underway for many years, as have thousands of peaceful Muslims who refuse to support the Jihad of Christians by Radical Islamic Terrorists.

For over 3 years the international media has reported that ISIL and Al Q’ieda has been insisting on mass conversion to Islam or death; hundreds of thousands of Syrian and Assyrian Christians, are being horrifically targeted for religious cleansing by Radical Islamic Terrorists.  The terrorists are brutally torturing, crucifying, beheading, burying Christians alive, shooting them execution style, dowsing them in oil and burning them alive, cutting the young Assyrian Christian children in half, raping & murdering female children and women, conducting mass executions, and selling some of the Assyrian Christian women into white slavery (there are hundreds of photos of those atrocities on the worldwide net).  The Greek Catholic Relief Agency has reported that 300,000 Syrian and Assyrian Christians refugees have been seeking resettlement in the US thru the UN Muslim Resettlement Program, but they have been rejected by the UN and by the Obama administration.

Leaders of the International Community have been raising their voices in opposition to the current “Crime Against Humanity.”  The Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Royal Family in England, the UK Prime Minister, the King of Jordan, the President of Egypt, the President of Kurdistan, the Prime Minister of Japan, the Prime Minister of Australian, President George W. Bush, Reverend Billy Graham, the Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Prime Ministers of NATO nations, the Prime Minister of Israel, Christian Religious Leaders of every denomination from throughout the world, and the Secretary General of the United Nations have all raised their voices in unison to demand that the bloody genocide of Christians in Syria and Iraq stop.  The occupant of the Oval Office has not joined world leaders in their condemnation of the genocide of Christians by ISIL & Al Q’ieda in this latest “Crime Against Humanity”: Obama refuses to utter one word of condemnation, nor has he called on the Radical Islamic Terrorists to stop the bloody genocide of defenseless Christians—his silence for the last 3 years has been deafening.  However, Obama did refer to Christians in a recent prayer breakfast, the same way Radical Islamic Terrorists refer to Christians, as “Crusaders.”

Less than 400,000 Assyrian Christians survivors of the 4,065,000 Assyrian Christians who once populated 70 Urmia villages in the Nineveh Plain remain in Iraq; many Assyrian Christians have fled the country and are among the 300,000 Christian refugees seeking entry into the US as refugees.  For over 3 years, the 400,000 Assyrian Christians have been desperately seeking military weapons and logistic support from the Obama administration and the Iraqi government.  Very little of the US military and logistic support, that is being sent to Iraq by the US, has been funneled by the Iranian controlled Iraq government to the Kurdish Pershmerga Forces.

For the last 3 years, the Iranian controlled Iraqi government has rejected distribution of any weapons and logistic support to the Assyrian Christians to save them from ethnic cleansing, or to the Sunni tribes who once allied themselves with US military forces in support of the “Surge” during the Iraqi War.  The friendly Sunni tribes have been persecuted by the Iranian controlled Iraqi Shite Government ever since friendly US military forces were summarily pulled out of Iraq by Obama. US Forces were completely pulled out of Iraq at the end of the Iraqi War, despite warnings from US military general officers and US senior intelligence officials, who warned that removing a residual US military force would destabilize Iraq, and allow Al Q’ieda to grow once again.  Future US military and logistic support from the US must to delivered directly to the Kurdish Pershmerga Forces, Assyrian Christians, and friendly Sunni tribes who once allied themselves with the US military during the “Surge.”

The Assyrian Christians in Iraq who make up the Assyrian Iraqi Democratic Movement (AIDM) have sought and obtained support from US Assyrian communities.  The American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO) and other Assyrian organizations in the US; have jointly developed a project entitled “Restore Nineveh Now” with AIDM    AMO is soliciting and collecting donated funds to equip and train 4000 Assyrian Christians volunteers in an newly developed Assyrian Militia, called “The Nineveh Plain Protection Units.”  Currently 600 volunteers are being trained to lead and mobilize “The Nineveh Plain Protection Units” in two locations in eastern Iraq.  The Nineveh Plain Protection Units will defend their fellow Assyrian Christians from being massacred in ISIL’s and Al Q’ieda’s Jihad (the below listed article provides specific details on the training that is underway).

The Combat Veterans For Congress support a coalition of 55 US Congressmen who have asked Obama to take immediate action to provide weapons and logistic support directly to the Assyrian Christian’s Nineveh Plains Protection Units and, after 3 years, to finally speak out against the bloody genocide being perpetrated by Radical Islamic Terrorists designed to annihilate the Ancient Faith Community of Assyrian Christians on the Plains of Ninveh.  Kindly click on the below listed link to watch a video of a Congressional spokesman for the 55 US Congressmen that was provided to us by Foster Friess.

Watch this 3:45 minute video from U.S. Representative Trent Franks:

‘We Love This Land’: Iraqi Christian Men Fight to Keep ISIS Away From Homes

A battalion of Assyrian Christian men train at a former U.S. military facility outside the city of Kirkuk, Iraq. (Photo courtesy: Kaldo Oghanna)

Athra Kado had never shot a gun before, let alone seen a battlefield.

Until recently Kado, 25, spent his young career in a classroom, teaching high school students how to speak Syriac, his native language.

But Kado is one of hundreds of Assyrian Christian men—many with no military experience—taking up arms to protect their towns from ISIS terrorists who invaded this part of Iraq early last year.

“If we don’t have land to live, what’s the purpose of teaching a language?” Kado tells The Daily Signal in a Skype interview from a former U.S. military facility outside the city of Kirkuk, where he is finishing up a training camp with 500 or so amateur fighters.

Recruits to the new Christian militia, or battalion, say their villages and families were abandoned by Iraqi government and peshmerga forces last summer, letting the terrorists seize control.

Since then, some 30,000 Christians have fled the Nineveh plains—an area inhabited by minority groups such as Iraqi Christians, Yezidis and Shabaks.

Without official government support, and with minimal equipment primarily funded through donations, the young Christian men—most in their early to mid 20s—feel a responsibility to defend their own.

“We saw that nobody was doing anything for us,” says Kado, whose home town, Al Qosh, is the only Christian town in the Nineveh plains free of ISIS control. “We know that we don’t have another chance if we don’t fight for ourselves. No one is protecting us. We want to make a change.”

Last summer, Iraq’s most prominent Christian political party, the Assyrian Democratic Movement, issued a call for volunteers from minority groups to form a local defense force to fight ISIS, the Sunni militant group also known the Islamic State or ISIL.

In late January, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s peshmerga—a leading force fighting ISIS that receives American support—offered up the Kirkuk training facility as the grounds for the Assyrian Christian battalion to learn military might.

“This is our right as human beings and as indigenous people: to protect our people and ourselves,” says Kaldo Oghanna, a party official from the Assyrian Democratic Movement who oversaw the training. “It is not logical for people south of north [of here] to secure this area.”

”This is our right as human beings and as indigenous people: to protect our people and ourselves,” says @KaldoRamzi.

Kado, the young fighter, said at least four Americans—volunteers with military experience—are helping train the men to use weapons such as automatic rifles, mortars, machine guns, AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades.

Fighters acquire skills fast, because they have to. They train from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.

“When someone wants badly to do something, everything is easy for him,” Kado says.

“Me and my friends are getting this information so fast. We want to do that. We will go to our villages and towns and protect them so ISIS can’t come to our families.”

The training wraps up Thursday, when the civilian fighters are expected to be able to defend their turf.

“I know I am ready,” Kado says.

500 iraqi christian fighters

Some 500 amateur Assyrian Christian fighters learn how to be a disciplined fighting force. (Photo courtesy: Kaldo Oghanna)

Help Wanted

Oghanna says the training of Iraqi Christian fighters has occurred without financial support from the Iraqi, Kurdish or U.S. governments.

Donations, mostly from Assyrians abroad, fund everything from guns to bullets to food.

He hopes the United States steps forward—help that may be on the way.

The U.S. National Defense Authorization Act, approved in December, includes language to train and equip fighters against the Islamic State.

As part of the legislation, up to $1.6 billion should go toward support for units such as the Iraqi Army, Sunni tribal fighters, peshmerga and local forces protecting “vulnerable” minority groups in the Nineveh plains.

“The U.S. supports many groups [fighters], especially in Syria, where many of them convert to join ISIS,” Oghanna says. “We know it’s complex [to decide who to support], but we are for sure not going to convert to ISIS.”

‘My Land’

The Assyrian Christians, who consider themselves the indigenous people of Iraq, want to survive on their terms.

For Kado and the battalion fighters, that means staying in their villages, no matter that ISIS militants want to wipe Christianity out of Iraq.

Oghanna says there are currently less than 400,000 Christians living in Iraq, down from about 1.6 million in 2003. Most have fled.

Kado will not. His family’s roots in Al Qosh date back 400 years.

More than 400 families from other Christian villages have come to Al Qosh to seek shelter. So Kado stays.

“We don’t want to be refugees in another country,” Kado says.

Adds Oghanna, “It would be bitter for us to migrate to Europe and the U.S.”

Kado has great respect for America.

He listens to American music, and he learned English through the songs and lyrics of Whitney Houston.

Two of his brothers live in Detroit.

“I want to vacation in the U.S.,” Kado says, smiling sheepishly, listing Las Vegas as a spot he hopes to visit. “But I want to stay and live here.”

Kado is risking everything to stay—to be the guardian of his religion, his land.

“I have thought about dying,” Kado says. “But the most important thing I’ve learned in the camp is discipline. It’s not just Christianity. If it was just Christianity, I could be Christian in Europe. It’s a matter of … this is our land. We want to live on it. We love this land.”

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a battalion of Assyrian Christian men training at a former U.S. military facility outside the city of Kirkuk, Iraq. (Photo courtesy: Kaldo Oghanna)