The bombing of the Virgin Fatima Church in Mosul July 12—hours after a wave of attacks on churches in Baghdad—brings the total to seven churches bombed in Iraq over the weekend. The bombings came even though Assyrian Christian sources warned of the impending attacks days ago. Four have been killed and more than 30 injured in the apparently coordinated terror campaign.
Assyrian sources received warnings of the impending attacks five earlier through text messages, and immediately passed the information on to US forces. Under new security arrangements, US forces were unable to act themselves but ensured the Iraqi military was notified. Michael Youash, director of the Iraq Sustainable Democracy Project, which works with threatened minority communities, stated, “There was clearly a failure to take preventative steps by Iraqi and U.S. forces which allowed those planning the attacks to carry them out unimpeded.” (Assyrian International News Agency, July 13)