Qaraqosh Protection Committee
|Qaraqosh Protection Committee|
|Participant in the Iraq War|
|Leaders||Sarkis Aghajan Mamendo
|Allies||Kurdish Democratic Party, Iraqi Army and police, Mahdi Army|
|Opponents||Al Qaeda in Iraq|
The Qaraqosh Protection Committee is an armed militia formed by Assyrian Christians in the Ninawa Governorate of Iraq. The Committee formed in 2008, organized through local churches, and began manning checkpoints and working with the Iraqi police.
Persecution of Assyrians during the Iraq War
Assyrians in post-Saddam Iraq have faced high rate of persecution by Fundamentalist Islamist since the beginning of the Iraq war. By early August 2004 this persecution included church bombings, and fundamentalist groups' enforcement of Muslim codes of behavior upon Christians, e.g., banning alcohol, forcing women to wear hijab. The violence against the community has led to the exodus of perhaps as much as half of the community. While Assyrians only made 5% of the total Iraqi population before the war, according to the United Nations, Assyrians comprise as much as 40% of the growing Iraqi refugees who are stranded in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.
The coordinator for the Qaraqosh Protection Committee, Sabah Behnem, said outside agendas — from the Sunnis of al-Qaida to the Shia in Iran — were behind the efforts to displace Iraqi Christians.
- "Christian Security Forces Growing Stronger In Iraq". NPR. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
- "Analysis: Iraq's Christians under attack". BBC News. 2004-08-02. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- Qais al-Bashir, Associated Press (2006-12-25). "Iraqi Christians celebrate Christmas". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2007-01-07.
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