65 Armenian Families Forced Out of Mosul amid Extremist Takeover

Citizens of Mosul, Iraq, flee the city in cars

BEIRUT—According to sources at the Armenian Prelacy in Iraq, 65 Armenian families and a priest in Mosul were forced out of the city after Islamist militants raided the city and took control of Iraq’s second largest city, reported the Aztag Daily newspaper.

Insurgents raised black flags over parts of the city on Tuesday, as soldiers fled their posts after Sunni extremists known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took the city after four days of heavy fighting against Iraqi forces.

“When the battle got tough in the city of Mosul, the troops dropped their weapons and abandoned their posts, making it an easy prey for the terrorists,” Osama Nuajaifi, the speaker of Iraq’s parliament who hails from Mosul, said during a news conference in Baghdad, according to Time Magazine. “Everything is fallen. It’s a crisis. Having these terrorist groups control a city in the heart of Iraq threatens not only Iraq but the entire region.”

According to Time.com, terrified residents were streaming out of the city—the International Organization for Migration reports 500,000 people have left their homes since Saturday—and there were reports that water and electricity were cut off. On its Twitter account, ISIS gloated about seizing arms and vehicles abandoned by the city’s supposed defenders. Elsewhere in the country, its fighters have been spotted driving Humvees captured from government forces in previous encounters.

The situation was dire in more ways than one. Besides its symbolic importance as Iraq’s second-largest city—and the historic home of the country’s oil industry—Mosul has crucial strategic significance. It sits near both Turkey and the largely autonomous Kurdish zone of northern Iraq, but most importantly functions as Iraq’s most prominent doorway to Syria, where ISIS emerged as one of the main rebel forces arrayed against Syrian President Bashar Assad, reported Time.

Despite warnings from analysts that the insurrection was at heart a political problem that might only be worsened by a heavy-handed military response, al-Maliki announced his government had created a Crisis Unit and was preparing a counter-offensive that, according to one report, would include civilian volunteers armed by his government. Nuajaifi, the parliament speaker, warned: “They will reach every corner of Iraq if it doesn’t stop,” reported Time Magazine.

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  1. Hratch said:

    Had anyone ever told these 65 Armenian families that Armenia has been independent for the last 20+ years? Have they not been living in a country that has had perpetual war since the 1980s? Shouldn’t they have been the best candidates to immigrate to the homeland?

    I wonder who should be blamed for this national tragedy? The ROA for not being more open to immigration and integration or the immigrants themselves who choose to ignore the fact that Armenia is their real homeland?

    Everytime we hear these sob stories we pause for a minute then only to continue on with our destructive path. This is our fait accompli.

    • Ararat said:

      I would say both sides should share the blame and here is what I think and why:

      For over seventy years, because of the Turkish genocide of the Armenians in 1915 and followed by the Soviet takeover of what was left of Armenia, the Armenians world over have existed as two distinct and separate entities, ROA and the Diaspora, with very little or no contacts and primarily because of the former Soviet Iron Curtain.

      Even though many of the neighboring countries have acted as host countries for post-genocide Armenian population, I believe the Armenians have mostly lived as 2nd class citizens in these countries with a false sense of security. They have set roots in these countries and have over the years considered these places as their new homes despite the fact that, consciously or otherwise, they have been subjected to discrimination, because of religious-cultural-linguistic differences, in one form or another by the majority population. Despite all this, they have lived relatively peacefully for decades in these countries and all this due to pro-western puppet regimes installed in these countries which now are falling one after another like a deck of cards.

      The ROA (ASSR), on the other hand, was forcefully stripped of many of its Armenian values under Soviet occupation, along with Soviet indoctrination, causing a major gap between ROA and the Diaspora. Therefore, we Armenians over the last several decades have lived as one nation but two separate entities. Since the independence of Armenia in 1991 from the Soviet tyranny, the gap between ROA and Diaspora has been narrowing but there is a lot more to be done to eliminate the gap altogether.

      Until this happens we won’t feel united as one again and take bold steps to remove ourselves from our host countries, turned into battlefields among Islamic factions, and reunite with the motherland. The ROA for her part must do the right thing and offer blanket citizenship to each and every Armenian regardless of where they were born and raised.

    • zarkim said:

      Thanks for your comments brother.
      There are Americans live all over the world even in troubled areas. Who are we to say that they should go and live somewhere else? Relocating is not easy!
      US administration LIBERATED Iraq after seven years of bloodshed. May be this is way people trusted the American administration – Thinking that they are “in control” and have done it right for a change. Only fools dream!

    • Hay said:

      Agree wholeheartedly. No matter how much people smear Armenia surely it can’t be any worse than an active warzone and living among beasts who hate your religion and are bent on destroying you. The longer they stay in these Mid East sh!tholes the more they absorb their backwards culture and assimilate into them. I’ll probably offend the hookah smoking keffiyeh round your neck “yallah” contingent here, but what you pass onto your children is not Armenian culture and I don’t want it to become that. Move to Armenia and embrace our own values before it’s too late.

  2. zarkim said:

    There are as many as 1,000 armed opposition groups in Syria, commanding an estimated 100,000 fighters. Thanks to the US administration and allies these people are armed with deadly missiles and weapons. They are much stronger now and are spreading to neighboring countries.
    Mr Obama has only INHERITED this headache. He did not start it. However, keeping quiet about it (bury head in the sand) does not make the problem go away.
    Americans were in Iraq for a long time trying to LIBERATE it. They made it worst. Also, look at Libya now!
    Mr Obama used to comment about terrorists and how he was going to get them. Not anymore. Mr Obama also used to criticize the treatment of African Americans at the beginning. Not anymore.
    The Drop in the Ocean of the property stolen from the African Americans have been paid to Him by the same people who committed those atrocities against the African Americans and are sitting around Him right now making more problems in Middle east. He is happy. They are paying Him the Drop. What a democracy!
    Americans are responsible for these attacks.

  3. MZB said:

    Second genocide in a new version
    United we stand divided we fall.
    Iraq,Syria etc.