Christian families are fleeing Mosul in droves in the aftermath of the murder of a Christian family in the city—a replay of the 2008 exodus in which thousands of families fled the city. The fleeing families are heading for the string of Christian villages, towns and monasteries to the east and north of the city. Anti-Christian attacks have intensified recently in the city, with five killed in the past two weeks. Many Christians were openly told to leave or face the consequences.
Violence has relatively receded in Iraq in the past two years, but Mosul remains one of the most volatile and violent in the country. Tensions are building up between Kurds and Arabs in Mosul and its outskirts, which Kurdish militias have occupied. Observers say the Christians in the city are caught in the struggle over territory between the Arab majority and Kurdish minority in Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital. Nineveh’s Christians are of divided loyalty, with some families lining up behind the Kurds and others aligning with the Arabs. (Azzaman, Feb. 24)