Map of the three districts which constitute Nineveh plains overlaid over the Ninawa Governorate map.
• Governor of Hamdaniya
• Governor of Tel Keppe
• Governor of Al-Shikhan
|4,197 km2 (1,620 sq mi)|
• 2012 estimate
• 1987 census
|117/km2 (303.0/sq mi)|
Nineveh Plains (Classical Syriac: ܦܩܥܬܐ ܕܢܝܢܘܐ, translit. Pqaʿtā ḏ-Nīnwē, Modern Syriac: ܕܫܬܐ ܕܢܝܢܘܐ, translit. Daštā d-Ninwe; Arabic: سهل نينوى, translit. Sahl Naynawā; Kurdish: Deşta Neynewa) is a region in Iraq's Nineveh Governorate to the north and east of the city Mosul, from which it is also known as the Plain of Mosul. It was formerly known as the Plain of Sanjar or Sinjar from its major medieval settlement. It was the location of al-Khwārizmī's determination of a degree during the reign of the caliph al-Mamun.
Part of the Assyrian homeland, the area also includes the ruins of the ancient Assyrian cities of Nineveh, Nimrud, and Dur-Sharrukin as well as numerous ancient religious sites such as Mar Mattai Monastery, Rabban Hormizd Monastery, the Tomb of Nahum, and the Yezidi Lalish.
Nineveh Plains lie to the east, northeast of the city of Mosul in the Iraqi Ninawa Province. The ancient city of Nineveh stood where the eastern outskirts of Mosul are today, on the bank of the Tigris river. The villages on the eastern part of the plains are inhabited by minority religious groups that are non-Muslim. Most of these inhabitants are Christian Assyrians.
The Nineveh plains are not only the historical homeland of the Assyrian people and a crucible of pre-Arab and Kurd pre-Islamic Mesopotamian civilisation, but it is a province where a majority of the population is currently drawn from the minorities, around half of whom are Assyrians.
Peutinger's map of the inhabited world known to the Roman geographers depicts Singara as located west of the Trogoditi. Persi. (Latin: Troglodytae Persiae, "Persian troglodytes") who inhabited the territory around Mount Sinjar. By the medieval Arabs, most of the plain was reckoned as part of the province of Diyār Rabīʿa, the "abode of the Rabīʿa" tribe. The plain was the site of the determination of the degree by al-Khwārizmī and other astronomers during the reign of the caliph al-Mamun. Sinjar also boasted a famous Assyrian cathedral in the 8th century.
Attacks on Christians
Following the concerted attacks on Assyrians in Iraq, especially highlighted by the Sunday, August 1, 2004 simultaneous bombing of six Churches (Baghdad and Mosul) and subsequent bombing of nearly thirty other churches throughout the country, Assyrian leadership, internally and externally, began to regard the Nineveh Plain as the location where security for Christians may be possible. Schools especially received much attention in this area and in Kurdish areas where Assyrian concentrated population lives. In addition, agriculture and medical clinics received financial help from the Assyrian diaspora.
As attacks on Christians increased in Basra, Baghdad, Ramadi and smaller towns. more families turned northward to the extended family holdings in the Nineveh Plain. This place of refuge remains underfunded and gravely lacking in infrastructure to aid the ever-increasing internally displaced people population.
In February 2010, the attacks against Assyrians in Mosul forced 4,300 Assyrians to flee to the Nineveh plains where there is an Assyrian-majority population. From 2012, it also began receiving influxes of Assyrians from Syria owing to the civil war there.
Creation of an autonomous province
The Chaldean and Syriac inhabited towns and villages on the Nineveh Plain form a concentration of those belonging to Syriac Christian traditions, and since this area is the ancient home of the Assyrian empire through which the people trace their cultural heritage, the Nineveh Plain is the area on which an effort to form an has become concentrated. There have been calls by some politicians inside and outside Iraq to create an autonomous region for Assyrians in this area.
In the Transitional Administrative Law adopted in March 2004 in Baghdad, not only were provisions made for the preservation of Assyrian culture through education and media, but a provision for an administrative unit also was accepted. Article 125 in Iraq's Constitution states that: "This Constitution shall guarantee the administrative, political, cultural, and educational rights of the various nationalities, such as Turkomen, Chaldeans, Assyrians, and all other constituents, and this shall be regulated by law." Since the towns and villages on the Nineveh Plain form a concentration of those belonging to Syriac Christian traditions, and since this area is the ancient home of the Assyrian empire through which these people trace their cultural heritage, the Nineveh Plain is the area on which the effort to form an autonomous Assyrian entity have become concentrated. The same article has been used to proclaim an autonomous province for the Yezidi people. 
On January 21, 2014, the Iraqi government had declared that Nineveh Plains would become a new province, which would serve as a safe haven for Assyrians.
After the liberation of the Nineveh Plain from ISIL between 2016/17, all Assyrian political parties called on the European Union and UN Security Council for the creation of an Assyrian self-administered province in the Nineveh Plain. 
Between the 28th-30th of June, 2017, a conference was held in Brussels dubbed, The Future for Christians in Iraq.  The conference was organised by the European People's Party and had participants extending from Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac organizations, including representatives from the Iraqi government and the KRG. The conference was boycotted by the Assyrian Democratic Movement, Sons of Mesopotamia, Assyrian Patriotic Party, Chaldean Catholic Church and Assyrian Church of the East. A position paper was signed by the remaining political organizations involved. 
The Nineveh Plains is the only region in Iraq where a plurality of inhabitants follow Syriac Christianity. Before ISIS invaded Nineveh, Assyrians made up around 40% of the population within the plains. The five patriarchal churches represented are:
- Ancient Church of the East
- Assyrian Church of the East
- Chaldean Catholic Church
- Syriac Catholic Church
- Syriac Orthodox Church
The Nineveh Plain appears to hold under its rich agricultural lands an extension of the petroleum fields tapped in 2006 by the Kurdish Regional Government in direct contract with foreign oil exploration companies. It is believed that this added incentive for absorption by the KRG of the region may lead to economic conflict with Sunni Arab tribes in the Mosul region itself. Assyrians claim that without Nineveh Plain autonomous administration, the indigenous Assyrian presence in its ancient homeland could well disappear. There are some oil reserves in Nineveh Plains.
Main towns in Nineveh plains
- Tel Kepe
- Qaraqosh (also known as Bakhdida or al-Hamdaniyah)
- Ain Sifni (also known as Shekhan)
- Assyrians in Iraq
- Assyrian independence movement
- Assyrian homeland
- Proposals for Assyrian autonomy in Iraq
- Nahla plains
- Urmia Plain
- Mardean Isaac (2010-12-30). "The desperate plight of Iraq's Assyrians and other minorities | Mardean Isaac | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- Abul Fazl-i-Ạllámí (1894), "Description of the Earth", The Áin I Akbarí, Vol. III, Translated by H.S. Jarrett, Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press for the Asiatic Society of Bengal, p. 25–27.
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- UN report.[which?]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-03-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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- Iraqi Christians hold critical meeting Archived 2011-07-04 at the Wayback Machine, The Kurdish Globe
- Dutch MP calls for autonomous Assyrian Christian region in north Iraq, AKI
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-10-14. Retrieved 2014-10-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Iraq Sustainable Democracy Project". Iraqdemocracyproject.org. 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- "Shengal Constituent Assembly Our People Demand To Govern Themselves" ANF - English http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/shengal-constituent-assembly-our-people-demand-to-govern-themselves
- BetBasoo, Peter; Nuri Kino (22 January 2014). "Will a Province for Assyrians Stop Their Exodus From Iraq?". Assyrian International News Agency. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
- http://yonoforiraq.com/AboutMosul.pdf[permanent dead link]