IRAQ: Ten-year anniversary of the bloody jihadists siege on Syriac Church of Sayidat al-Nejat.

The bad omen for the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people of worse to come...

BAGHDAD – On the evening of October 31, 2010, suicide jihadists from Al-Qaida affiliate Islamic State in Iraq entered the Syriac Catholic Sayidat al-Nejat Cathedral. Several hundred Christian Syriac faithful were present inside the Our Lady of Deliverance Cathedral to celebrate Sunday evening mass. The Yemeni and Egyptian suicide jihadists had come to kill and earn their place in the afterlife. The siege left dozens of faithful and two Syriac priests dead. Seven members of the security forces were also killed later that evening when security forces stormed the cathedral to free the hostages. It caused the jihadists to detonate their bomb vests and sow injury, death, and destruction. Days later Islamic jihadists attacked and bombed Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian homes and neighborhoods across Baghdad.

Iraqis outside the Sayidat al-Nejat Syriac Catholic Cathedral, the morning after the attack by jihadists.

There had been attacks and bombings of churches, including the Syriac Catholic Sayidat al-Nejat Cathedral in 2004, before, but the October 31, suicide attack on the Sayidat al-Nejat Cathedral was the most brutal and deadly attack on Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians since the fall of the Ba’ath regime. It awakened the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people to the reality in Iraq. Many of the still sizable Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian community of a couple of hundred thousand in Baghdad, decided to move up north to the Nineveh Plain and the Kurdish Region in Iraq. Many others choose to leave their violent ancient homeland of Iraq and seek safety in the West.

They were the “lucky” ones. In the years that followed, the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and Syria would commit much worse crimes. It caused the displaced of tens and tens of thousands of Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians when it took Mosul and the Nineveh Plain, many of whom are still living in IDP-camps or have emigrated to the West. ISIS destroyed, killed, kidnapped, enslaved, and committed genocide against Yazidis and Chaldeans-Syrians-Assyrians.

The history of the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people in Iraq over the last two decades is one of displacement and bloodshed. The Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people have been uprooted from their cities, villages, farmlands, and Mesopotamian heartlands. This land of fertile rivers and civilization was their original homeland for thousands of years… but that could soon become history.