share

 Home | Government | WikiLeaks Information

WikiLeaks: 2010-02-25: 10BAGHDAD505:
PRT Ninewa: Iraqi Christians Feel Under Siege in Mosul

by WikiLeaks. 10BAGHDAD505: February 25, 2010.

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 10:38 AM UT


Viewing cable 10BAGHDAD505, PRT NINEWA: IRAQI CHRISTIANS FEEL UNDER SIEGE IN

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs
Reference ID Created Classification Origin
10BAGHDAD505 2010-02-25 12:42 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGB #0505/01 0561242
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251242Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6832
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 000505 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/I 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/24/2020 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PTER KIRF PINS KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: PRT NINEWA: IRAQI CHRISTIANS FEEL UNDER SIEGE IN 
MOSUL 
 
REF: BAGHDAD 0318 
 
Classified By: Ninewa PRT Leader W. Patrick Murphy: Reasons 1.4 (b,d) 
 
1. (U) This is a Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) 
message. 
 
2.  (U) Summary.  The city of Mosul's estimated 3,000 
Christians, an already diminishing community, has suffered 
another round of targeted violence.  Over the first three 
weeks of February, assailants have brutally assassinated or 
murdered at least eight of Mosul's Christians.  The violence 
has forced a small but growing number of Christian families 
to flee Mosul for safe havens in disputed areas of Ninewa 
Province.  Calls by the governor for ISF to provide increased 
security have had no visible affect, according to the 
Christian community, leaving them feeling increasingly 
vulnerable to violent intimidation.  Conspiracy theorists 
blame Kurdish political entities, but the perpetrators of the 
attacks, and their motives, remain unknown.  End Summary. 
 
Christian Families Leave Mosul 
------------------------------ 
 
3.  (U) Over the first three weeks of February, gunmen have 
assassinated or murdered at least eight Christians in Mosul. 
Reacting to the increase in attacks, some forty families from 
Mosul's beleaguered Christian community have fled to other 
parts of Ninewa, primarily to the disputed districts of Tal 
Kayf and Hamdaniya, home to significant Christian 
communities.  The newly installed Chaldean Archbishop of 
Mosul, in a press statement on Feb 20, said the attacks 
constitute an "effort to force Christians to leave Mosul," 
and described the uncertainty and apprehension the community 
feels at work, at home, and at school. 
 
Eight Dead in Nine Days 
----------------------- 
 
4. (U) The PRT confirmed the following press accounts of 
recent assassinations and murders in Mosul, all involving 
Christian victims:  on February 14, drive-by shooters killed 
a man outside his home; the following day, unknown assailants 
shot a greengrocer outside his shop; on February 16, 
unidentified gunmen shot two Mosul University students, 
killing one and wounding the other; on February 17, police 
found the body of another student who had been shot; on 
February 22, police reported finding the body of a Christian 
man kidnapped nine days earlier; on February 23, gunmen 
entered the home of a Christian family, segregating and 
reportedly raping the women, and killed the father and two 
sons.  The Feb 23 victims were family members of a Chaldean 
priest, himself the victim of a previous kidnapping. 
 
Inadequate ISF Response, No Suspects 
------------------------------------ 
 
5. (C) No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, and 
Iraqi police have announced no leads in the cases, though 
they cite "terrorists" as the perpetrators.  Governor Atheel 
al-Nujaifi decried publicly what he sees as the lack of 
adequate attention on the part of Iraqi security forces 
(ISF).  Reiterating a public statement he made in December, 
he called for increased protection for the Christian 
community.  PRT contacts within the Christian community 
reported seeing no increase in ISF presence in their 
neighborhoods, supporting the governor's assertion.  Many 
have also stayed home from work and school, fearing the ISF 
incapable of providing adequate security.  Perhaps in 
response to the governor,s call, the Chief of Staff at the 
Ninewa operations center, during a February 22 staff meeting, 
announced measures to improve security for Christians, 
including ISF escorts for students to and from school and 
Qincluding ISF escorts for students to and from school and 
increased screening and searches in areas around churches. 
 
Kurdish Connection? 
------------------- 
 
6. (C) Some members of the Christian community, and many 
local Arab leaders, point to the Kurdish Democratic Party 
(KDP) as perpetrating the attacks, although they lack 
evidence to support the assertion.  The Christians believe 
that the KDP benefits from the attacks by encouraging 
families to abandon the Arab-majority Mosul metropolitan area 
and relocate to KSF-controlled disputed areas.  According to 
this theory, the KRG can advance its authority over the 
territory with the argument that only KSF are capable of 
protecting minority populations. 
 
 
Comment:  A Diminishing Community 
--------------------------------- 
 
7. (C) The attacks clearly seem intended to intimidate the 
Christian community into leaving Mosul.  Following attacks 
over the past couple of years, Mosul's Christian population 
dropped from approximately 13,000 to 3,000.  The current 
attacks have already seen that number diminish further.  For 
now, however, most of these Christian appear to be staying 
within Ninewa, rather than fleeing abroad.  Continued 
attacks, however, combined with escalating Arab/Kurd tensions 
in Ninewa, could easily lead to another cycle of Christian 
emigration from Iraq. End Comment. 
HILL

 



Government ForumGovernment Forum

WikiLeaks InformationWikiLeaks Information


Do you have any related information or suggestions? Please email them.

AIM | Atour: The State of Assyria | Terms of Service