Over the next three to four days, the Iraqi Army will begin its clearing operations in the Assyria Nineveh Plain. ISIS’ main forces have been driven back into Mosul by heavy air platform bombardment of the cities of Batnay and Telkef, cities along HWY #2, and Mosul itself. This activity has been ongoing since last week. The actual clearing operations for have not yet started; however, the 9th Division of the Iraqi Army has reached the outskirts of Qaraqosh as the operations to surround the city have begun.
Unfortunately for Christians and other minorities in the region, the clearing operations will render most most of the cities where they live effectively uninhabitable. The destruction of their homes, coupled with the fact that they constitute a demographic minority in the region, may prove fatal to their survivability as a distinct ethno-religious community in Iraq. Thus, success in driving ISIS from the region may well mark the beginning of the end of the Christian community (and other minorities as well) in Iraq – unless Assyrian churches, political parties, and military forces unite in understanding (but not necessarily in full communion) to form a larger coalition that will give a strong voice to the root of Christianity in the Middle East and possibly the Assyria Nineveh Plain.