After the liberation of the cities occupied by ISIS, including the Christian villages and towns of the Nineveh Plain, our Chaldo-Assyrian students and youth union (Khoyada) have been among the first offering help and support to those displaced from their homes.
One of the recent programs carried out by volunteers from our Khoyada centers, and supported by Civil Society Organizations including the Assyrian Aid Society, Assyrian National Council of Illinois and the Iraqi Christian Relief Council whom launched the fundraising campaign for (Operation Return To Nineveh) to clean and rehabilitate our people’s villages and towns in the Nineveh Plain, allowing them to return to their homes and normal lives. This rebuilding and rehabilitation campaign was intended to start in Teleskef on December 15, 2016, but was postponed until December 20th, 2016 due to bad weather.
Prior to the launch of this rebuilding campaign, our volunteers obtained all the necessary legal permits from the manager of Asseyesh and PDK officials with jurisdiction in Teleskef. However, when our volunteers attempted enter Teleskef on December 20th, they were denied access at the Peshmerga checkpoint and delayed for more than an hour. Although our organization tried to contact the supervising officials – and despite the campaign’s purpose to reduce the suffering and rebuild the communities of IDP’s – our volunteers were forced to return home without accomplishing anything.
Iraqis from every religious and ethnic background are cooperating to fight ISIS and to overcome challenges for the sake of a prosperous Iraq. We will never forget the efforts and sacrifices of the Peshmerga, Popular Mobilized Unit, NPU and the Iraqi army. Thus, we believe that all parties involved in the liberation of the Nineveh Plain should be open and accepting of all attempts to ease the suffering of the people of Iraq and refrain from the actions taken against our volunteers.
We strongly denounce the actions taken against our Khoyada and Assyrian Aid volunteers – especially since we are indigenous people living in our historical lands. We request that the Kurdish Regional Government order all those involved to give the rights back to our union and people.
ChaldoAssyrian students and youth union
The secretary office