BRUSSELS — On the solemn occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Simele Massacre, the European Syriac Union (ESU) issued a public statement reminding the world of the thousands of Chaldeans–Syriacs–Assyrians killed in the massacre and the persecution inflicted on their communities to this day.
The ESU mourned the 5,000 innocent martyrs who lost their lives during the Simele Massacre, a tragic event perpetrated by Iraqi forces in the Simele region in 1933. They also remember the horrifying genocide and displacement orchestrated by the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014 when they seized control of vast areas in Iraq, including Nineveh Plains, and important center of Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian life, history, and culture.
The statement highlighted the ongoing political, social, economic, and cultural challenges affecting various groups within Iraqi society, with minorities bearing the brunt of these difficulties. Even a decade after the ISIS genocide in Nineveh Plains, the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people continue to face numerous threats, including attempts at demographic change. The recent harassment and political targeting of Roman Catholic Cardinal and Chaldean Patriarch Mar Louis Raphael Sako exemplify attempts to seize power and subjugate the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people, read the statement.
The ESU concluded by expressing deep reverence for the martyrs of Simele and Nineveh Plains. It welcomed the formation of the Athra Alliance, a unified political list of five Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian political parties in Iraq, recognizing that political unity among the parties of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people is a crucial step in securing their rights.