Christians of Erbil are worried about recent missile attack
Christians in northern Iraq are increasingly concerned about tensions in the region after Iranian forces launched five missiles overnight on an air base in the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Erbil that houses U.S.-led coalition troops.
The Nineveh Plain just north of Erbil is home to several thousand Christians who have been trying to rebuild their lives following the trauma of the Islamic State group (ISIS) occupying many once predominantly Christian towns north of the capital from 2014 to 2017.
Iraq’s military said the missiles struck the Harir air base located next to Erbil’s international airport. Another 17 missiles were launched on the larger Ain al-Asad air base in western Anbar province, 250 miles southwest of Erbil, also housing U.S.-led coalition troops. No casualties were reported.
Syriac Catholic priest Father Roni Salim Momika, a native of Qaraqosh 50 miles northwest of Erbil, told the Register the situation has become “very bad” since the assassination, adding that Iran is now threatening all Americans living in Iraq.
“Christians are very afraid” and are particularly concerned about “Americans using our lands for war,” he said.
“We’re afraid if something happens to the Christian places that Christians will leave,” Father Momika added. “We don’t want that; we returned after ISIS and were celebrating, reconstructing.”
“The Church is with the people, but we don’t know what Iran is thinking,” he added.
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