IS destroyed over 70 percent of Nineveh Plain: Assyrian Party Leader
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Islamic State (IS) has destroyed Nineveh Plain and burned what they could not ruin, said a Christian party leader on Sunday.
In an interview with Kurdistan24, the Secretary-General of the Assyrian Bet al-Nahrain Party Romeo Hakkari stated the extremist group had severely destroyed Nineveh Plain.
“In some parts, 80 to 90 percent had been destroyed while in Bartella and Hamdaniya towns, [IS] destroyed over 70 percent of the area,” Hakkari said.
He mentioned after the remaining areas of Nineveh Plain were liberated, international organizations would investigate the area to determine the damage inflicted since June 2014.
Following the emergence of the insurgent group in northern Iraq in 2014, over 200,000 people had been displaced to the Kurdistan Region, according to the Assyrian party leader.
He stated the current financial crisis Kurdistan and Iraq were experiencing made both the federal government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) incapable of reconstructing Nineveh Plain.
“After the liberation of Mosul, an international conference for rebuilding the area is necessary to push Baghdad, in particular, to help rebuild Nineveh Plain and Mosul,” he added.
Moreover, Hakkari stated Nineveh Plain was under the administration of Baghdad hence why they were mainly responsible for reconstructing the area.
While complaining about Baghdad’s failure to control Christian components in the country, he praised the role of the KRG and the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani for their continuous support to Christian people.
Hakkari explained when IS attacked different parts of Iraq, most of the Iraqi Christians fled to the Kurdistan Region as a haven from the extremist’s threats.
The Assyrian party leader also called for the creation of a Nineveh Plain Province following Mosul’s liberation from IS.
Hakkari added the people of the area would later decide whether they want the province to be part of the KRG or under the administration of the federal government of Iraq.
Bet al-Nahrain is a small party with little influence in the country’s politics. Following 2003, Christians in the Region and Iraq divided into different political factions.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Kamaran Haji Mahmoud conducted the interview)