LOS ANGELES, CA - ISIS has been
slaughtering people across the globe and
desecrating holy grounds. Their hatred knows
no bounds and even after they vacate an
area, the pain they leave behind lingers.
ISIS occupied the Plain for over two
years, during which time they killed all who
remained and desecrated Christian churches
The humanitarian group and journalists
discovered a beheaded statue of the Holy
Virgin, a painting of Christ crushed on the
ground, several sacred items used for target
practice and desecrated graves, tombstones,
shrines, monasteries, churches, homes and
Evidence of fires and senseless killings
Alessandro Monteduro, the ACN director
for Italy, and Monsignor Francesco Cavina,
the bishop of Carpi, paid a visit to the
site only days ago.
Mortarts were left by the terrorist
group, shops were looted and burned to the
ground and churches were completely
Louis Petrus, a security guard, told Aid
to the Church in Need, "I don't understand
how people can harm each other so much. Look
at my house: it is damaged, most of my
furniture has been stolen and my household
effects are broken.
"Other inhabitants of Qaraqosh had
prepared me for what I would find in the
city. I had heard stories and seen pictures
of the destruction caused by the jihadists.
Now that I am seeing the city with my own
eyes, I do not know what to feel. The
terrorists have destroyed a lot of my
Father Sharbil Eeso, a 72-year-old Syrian
Catholic priest, also returned to Qaraqosh
near the end of January. His seminary was a
mess and ISIS had brought down ceilings and
statues in search of hidden treasures.
"We are not allowed to clear up the mess
yet," the priest lamented. "[F]irst the
damage needs to be assessed carefully and
documented thoroughly, and that can only
start when the city is safe.
"Las week, a jihadist emerged from the
tunnel system which ISIS has built
underneath the city. The army immediately
shot and killed him: it was a 13-year-old
The walls of churches in Qaraqosh had
battle instructions scrawled onto the walls
and St. George's Syrian Catholic Church was
used as a bomb factory, with several
sleeping weapons still waiting in the
Church of the Immaculate Conception in
Rogationist Fr. Jalal Yako looked at what
was left of his church and sadly stated,
"the church is destroyed by such
Nisan Karromi, the mayor of Qaraqosh,
explained: "We really want to return to
Qaraqosh with our children [but] it will be
a long time before all damages will be
"We not only have to reconstruct and
rebuild this city, but we also have to
compensate the people for the damages they
have suffered. Now that the Iraqi government
is in crisis, the international community
will have to help make Iraq habitable
Manal Matti, a resident who went to visit
the burned-out church of the Immaculate
Conception, admitted her surprise at the
number of mannequins spread across the area
with obvious bullet holes through them.
"The jihadists used the church as a
shooting range, and the mannequins as
targets," she said. Her beauty salon shop
was only a few steps away from the church
before she was forced to flee.
She stated: "I do now know when I will
ever be able to see the inhabitants of
Qaraqosh coming again to my beauty salon."
Journalists and members of the ACN shared
the most damaged villages of them all were
Batnaya and Telleskof, where 170 previous
residents have slowly started to trickle
Houses, churches and the local
infrastructure must be rebuilt before
residents can move back permanently.
In the face of graffiti, rubble,
desecration and pain, the first Christian
village to recover from the invaders proudly
proclaimed "Victory! Victory!"
The Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, Mar
Louis Sako, warned: "This Cross is saying to
the world that this is our land. This is
where we were born and this is where we are
going to die."