French Macron visits Mosul, Iraq, destroyed by ISIS


Mosul, Iraq — French President Emmanuel Macron visited Mosul, a city in northern Iraq, on Sunday. Mosul was extensively destroyed during the war and defeated the ISIS terrorist group in 2017. He vowed to fight terrorism with the local government.

Macron said ISIS had made deadly attacks around the world from the self-declared caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq. He noted that terrorists had killed many Muslims and said that ISIS did not distinguish between people’s religions and nationalities when it came to killings.

After visiting the iconic mosque destroyed by militants, Macron said in English, “I will do whatever I can to fight this terrorism, alongside the local and Iraqi governments.” “We will attend with the sovereign government to restore peace.”

French President Emmanuel Macron visits Iraq
French President Emmanuel Macron will hold a press conference on August 28, 2021 at the Presidential Palace in Baghdad, Iraq, after meeting with Iraqi President Barhamsari during the Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership. (Haridomo Hammed / AP photo)

Macron said France would help rebuild mutual respect, monuments, churches, schools, mosques and, most importantly, “economic opportunities.”

Despite the defeat of ISIS on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, the group’s sleeping cars are still making deadly attacks in both countries, and group affiliates attacked at Kabul Airport in Afghanistan on Thursday to score. Claimed to have killed.

Macron began his visit to Mosul by visiting the Hour Lady of the Hour Church, a Catholic church that was severely damaged during ISIS rule, which lasted from 2014 to the defeat of the radicals three years later. Upon arrival at Macron, Iraqi children dressed in white and waving the flags of Iraq and France sang.

It was the same church where Pope Francis led a special prayer during his visit to Iraq in March. During the trip, the deities urged Iraqi Christians to forgive Islamic extremists for injustice against them and to rebuild them when they visited the destroyed church shell.

Macron roamed around a church whose walls were still filled with bullets. Strict security was put in place when the priest who accompanied him gave him details of the church built in the 19th century. The French president then went up to the rooftop overlooking part of Mosul with Iraqi officials.

“France wants to open a consulate in Mosul,” Iraqi priest Raid Adel told Macron in the church. He also called on the president to help rebuild Mosul’s airport.

Macron made a list of promises during meetings with Christian leaders at the Hour Lady of the Hour Church, including the opening of a consulate. “I was impressed with the crisis here and I would also like to say that I will make a decision to revive the consulate and school,” Macron said.

Macron left the church early in the afternoon for the Arnuri Mosul, a landmark of Mosul that was blown up and rebuilt in the 2017 fight against ISIS terrorists.

The mosque, also known as the Great Mosque of Arnuri, and its iconic tilted minaret were built in the 12th century. It was from the pulpit of the mosque that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of ISIS, declared the establishment of the caliph in 2014.

Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, has become the bureaucratic and financial backbone of ISIS. It took a fierce nine-month battle to finally free the city in July 2017. According to an Associated Press survey at the time, 9,000 to 11,000 civilians were killed and the war left widespread destruction. Many Iraqis had to rebuild themselves in the face of a long-standing financial crisis.

Since the early days of Christianity, there has been a large Christian community in northern Iraq. But over the last few decades, tens of thousands have left Iraq and settled elsewhere in the climax of the country’s war and instability due to the persecution of Christians by radicals over the last decade. ..

The traditional Christian towns scattered across the northern Nineveh Plain were emptied in 2014 as Christians and many Muslims fled the onslaught of ISIS terrorist groups. Only a few have returned to their homes since the defeat of ISIS in Iraq was declared four years ago, and the rest are scattered elsewhere in Iraq and abroad.

Macron arrived in Baghdad early Saturday and attended a meeting attended by officials from all over the Middle East aimed at relieving tensions in the Middle East, highlighting Arab’s new role as an intermediary.

Macron welcomed the Baghdad conference as a major boost to Iraq and its leadership. The country has been largely shunned by Arab leaders for the past few decades due to security concerns in a series of wars and internal unrest, the airport is often rocket-attacked by rebels. it was done.

Macron vowed to maintain his army in Iraq “regardless of American choice” and “as long as the Iraqi government seeks our help.” France currently has 800 soldiers contributing to the United Nations forces in Iraq.

On Saturday night, Macron flew to the northern city of Erbil after visiting a holy Shiite shrine in Baghdad. There he met Nadia Murad, a 28-year-old activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was sexually slaved by ISIS terrorists in Iraq.

Murad, a member of the Yazid minority in Iraq, was one of thousands of women and girls captured and sexually enslaved by ISIS in 2014. Her mother and six siblings were killed by ISIS terrorists in Iraq. After fleeing to Germany and evacuating, she became an activist on behalf of women and girls and shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018.

Hadi Mizuban and Kasim Abdul Zafra

Associated Press