Sounds From a Basement in Mosul, Iraq


By Nuri Kino – 21.6.2014 – (AINA) — I had just came back from a trip to southeast Turkey and Syria and was about to unpack when my phone began to ring. I picked it up.

“They are here, can you hear them, they are here, Da’sh is in Mosul.” And yes I heard “Taqbir” and “Allah u Akbar.”The young man who called me from a basement in Mosul, Iraq is named Bashir. He called to inform me of the ISIS (Da’esh) invasion of his native town. He is an Assyrian who was deported from Sweden a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, others who have been deported wound up being killed. However, Bashir is lucky to be alive…for now.Ever since that call I have been in constant contact with Assyrians and others from Mosul and its surrounding villages.

The second time I spoke to Bashir, now from Dohuk in Kurdistan, Iraq, he reminded me of the Iraqi government’s decision half a year ago. From an AP report 22 january 2014:

Iraq’s Shiite-led government said Tuesday that it had decided in principle to create three new provinces from contested parts of the country in an apparent attempt to address Sunni grievances and counter the expansion of the Kurdish self-rule region.

One of those provinces would be centered on Fallujah, a city overrun this month by al-Qaeda and allied insurgents after more than a year of protests there and in other Sunni cities against what residents consider treatment as second-class citizens. Separate province status was not a major Sunni demand, but it could bring increased federal funding. The two other areas?–?Tuz Khurmatu and the Nineveh Plain?–?border Iraq’s northern Kurdish self-rule region. The former is a mixed city containing Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens; the latter has a large Christian population. Turkmens and Christians, many of whom fear absorption into the Kurdistan Regional Government, have been demanding separate province status for Tuz Khurmatu and the Nineveh Plain for years. The Fallujah announcement, however, was unexpected.

So let us think here! Nouri al-Maliki’s government, majority Shia Muslims, suggested to create new provinces.

Falluja, the first one, was to stop ISIS increasing power. By that time the Islamic radical group had already taken over the city. Al-Maliki was ready to give power to more moderate Muslims to stop ISIS and other radicals.Nineveh plains, the second one, was to give Assyrians and other minorities the power so the Kurdish regional government could not annex the area. The goverment also did not want Sunni Muslims to get control over it. Rather Assyrians doing it themselves.

Tuz Khurmatu is populated by a majorite of Turkmen Shiite Muslims that would be given power for the same reason as above. The government did not want it being annexed by the Kurds and they do not want the Sunni Muslims to be in power.

Fallujah, Nineveh Plain and Tuz Khormato are all important for both geopolitical and economic reasons. And for several years, oil companies have drilled for oil in these three regions.”Can’t you see sir what’s going on here?” said Bashir. “The Shia government made the Sunni terrorists very upset and now they are doing this to make sure it will not happen. We Christians are very scared, ISIS has not done anything against us yet but they have against our fellow Christians in Syria and also they are a part of al-Qaida, which has hurt us in Iraq for long now. Then on the other hand we have the Shia Mehdi-militia, they were not better for Christians in Baghdad. We are trapped in between all groups and don’t have help from any country abroad.” I asked Bashir, who is a truck driver, what he meant with no support from another country.”ISIS and other Sunnis are being financed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and in Syria also USA. Shia are being supported by Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, Iran and Hizbullah in Lebanon. We have nobody.”