Mindy Belz

Starting from zero

Iraq | Iraq’s Nineveh churches are retaking their towns from years of ISIS control, without guarantees of money, safety, or a future
by Mindy Belz
Posted 3/29/18, 10:54 am

Father Georges Jahola sits hunched over his laptop, his clerical collar just visible underneath a jacket he’s forgotten to remove. The parish priest is studying spreadsheets and cadastral maps of his hometown in Nineveh Plain, Qaraqosh, while men and women scurry in and out of his office, questions flying amid a shuffle of papers in Syriac, Arabic, and English.

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Associated Press/SANA

Rebel mortars kill dozens in Damascus

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/21/18, 11:14 am

At least 43 people died and 35 others sustained injuries late Tuesday when mortar fire struck a market district in the Syrian capital of Damascus, according to state media. The death toll is one of the highest from a single attack among recent clashes in the country. The assault took place in the government-controlled Kashkol neighborhood. Witnesses told Al-Ikhbariya TV the attack happened during rush hour at the market a day before the country marked Mother’s Day. Hospital director Mohammed Haytham al-Husseini told state television the majority of the casualties were women and children.

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Associated Press/Photo by Hasan Kirmizitaş/DHA-Depo Photos

Turkish-backed forces take Syrian town

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/19/18, 10:28 am

Turkish-backed Syrian forces on Sunday secured control of the Syrian town of Afrin after a nearly two-month offensive, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed. Turkey on Jan. 20 intensified its operation in Afrin against the Kurdish militia, which Turkey considers a terror group. Erdogan in a statement said the troops seized control of the town Sunday morning and started to clear out landmines. The allied troops raised their flags in Afrin and fired celebratory shots.

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