The battle to retake the city of Mosul has begun. As Assyrians, many of us with friends and relatives in Iraq and Syria, this attack could not have come soon enough.
While most of the world is focused on the city of Mosul, Assyrians are already anxiously watching the fight for the villages around this ancient city. Most of the outlying cities and villages, places like Bashiqa, Bartella and Bakhdeda are Assyrian and Yezidi – they are our property, our businesses and our homes, and these cities must be liberated so that tens of thousands of Assyrians can leave the refugee camps and escape the certainty of generational poverty.
Just over two years ago, as the Islamic State was ravaging northern Iraq and terrorizing the Assyrian nation, American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO) and members of the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM) sat down and resolved that if Assyrians in Iraq where going to have a future, any future, then they had to take matters into their hands.
In an historic move, ADM and AMO decide to form and launch the Nineveh Plain Protection Units, or the NPU.
Made up of recruits from the refugee camps and displaced Assyrian families, the young men who flocked to the NPU are our best and brightest, literally the ones who have the most “skin in the game.”
The NPU would not be what it is today, a force of Assyrian fighters that is the only ethnic force in northern Iraq recognized by Baghdad, if not for your support of the American Mesopotamian Organization. Thanks to your support, your donations, your phone calls and hard work, we not only help create the NPU, but have been able to support its training and recognition as a legitimate force in Iraq.
As we write this, the NPU is fighting for the liberation of the city of Bashiqa, and all indication are that the battle is going well. We are watching these fights for the cities around Mosul very carefully. Not only do we support the NPU, but we must (unfortunately) watch that Kurdish forces do not claim liberated Assyrian cities as “their own.” Barzani’s KRG has made no secret of its desire to grab as much land and property as possible in pursuit of their separatist ambitions. Such ambitions must not come at the expense of the Assyrian people in Iraq who have suffered so much already.
We are in daily contact with fighters on the ground in Iraq, and will continue to update you as events unfold. As we do, as we continue to support our Assyrian fighters in both Iraq and Syria, please continue to support the AMO. We have come a long way in less than two years, and together, there is still much more that we will do.
One last thing. Please download this image of an NPU soldier with a special message for the Islamic State. Put it on your Facebook page and let the world (and ISIS) know that we will never, ever quit.