Proposals for Assyrian autonomy in Iraq

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Assyrian villages in northern Iraq today.

Throughout history there were few proposals for the establishment of an autonomy or an independent state for the Syriac-speaking Assyrians in northern Iraq.

Historical proposals[edit]

Current proposals[edit]

The Nineveh plains within Nineveh province

19th governorate[edit]

Currently,[when?] two major Assyrian parties (Assyrian Democratic Movement and Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council) call for a creation of a 19th governorate which will incorporate Shekhan, Al-Hamdaniya and Tel Keppe districts of Ninawa Governorate. This proposal is pushed by two above mentioned parties as a new governorate for all minorities living there. Various estimates say that new province population will have the following ethno-religious makeup:

Ethnic groups Religion Language  % (estimation)
Assyrians Syriac Christianity Syriac 30–35
Shabaki Shabakism Kurdish 15–20
Yazidi Yazidism Kurmanji (Shengali) 35–40
Others (Sunni Kurds, Sunni-Arabs) up to 15

Support – The proposal has been backed by the majority of Shia Arabs and Kurdish parties.

Oppose – It has been opposed by Sunni Arabs who make up the majority of the city of Mosul.

Some foreign governments and political parties have also weighed in on the issue:

  • The Swedish political party Folkpartiet declared full support of an Assyrian administration by means of activating Article 125.[6]

Assyrian Administrative Region[edit]

Some Assyrian organizations also call for a creation of an Assyrian Administrative Region in Northern Iraq, which would include the following districts:[7]

Ninawa Governorate
Dohuk Governorate

Incorporation with Kurdistan region[edit]

Many Kurdish politicians have publicly come out in support of annexing the area to the Kurdistan Regional Government as their fourth governorate (after Dohuk, Erbil and Slemani). Some Assyrians claim Masoud Barzani's KDP is intimidating the population into demanding their region be annexed. This is a controversial issue and the population has different views on the matter as revealed by a Wikileaks document released in 2011:[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]