France says ready to welcome Christians from northern Iraq

France says ready to welcome Christians from northern Iraq

PanARMENIAN.Net - France said on Monday, July 28, it is ready to welcome Christians from northern Iraq who have been told by the al Qaeda offshoot group now ruling the region to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death, Reuters reported.

Islamic State insurgents seized large swathes of northern Iraq last month, prompting hundreds of Christian families in Mosul to flee a city which has hosted the faith since its earliest years.

"We are providing aid to displaced people fleeing from the threats of Islamic Sate and who have sought refuge in Kurdistan. We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil," France's Foreign and Interior Ministers said in a joint statement.

"We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them."

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki earlier this month condemned the treatment of the Christians and instructed a government committee to help those made homeless. However, he has not said when the army might try to win back control of Mosul.

Islamic State has warned all women in Mosul to wear full-face veils or risk severe punishment. The Sunni insurgents, who have declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, also view Iraq's majority Shi'ites as infidels who deserve to be killed.

 Top stories
Scores were wounded in at least five suicide attacks and two car bombs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
A Syrian source said Aleppo was excluded from truces “because there are terrorists there who haven’t stopped hitting the city.”
The raid by U.S. special operators on a mission to kill or capture IS leaders, occurred in Iraq and targeted Suleiman Abd Shabib al-Jabouri.
Helicopter design and manufacturing company Russian Helicopters delivered as many as 212 aircraft to various customers in 2015.
Partner news