After about a month of fighting, the coalition of Iraqi forces continue to press on in hopes of fully liberating the city of Mosul, the last major stronghold of ISIS in Iraq. Thus far, ISIS has been forced out of at least 120 towns and villages surrounding Mosul and coalition forces are beginning to secure more and more neighborhoods in the city.
One of the villages liberated was Qaraqosh, a place the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena once called home. A few weeks ago the Sisters sent out a letter to supporters, describing the many challenges that they will face even after the city is liberated.
They wrote, “It has been two years and four months since we left Nineveh Plain. It has been long time of displacement, of humiliation, of exile… There are many Christian militants among the army, and some of them we know. So, they have been sending us photos of our Christian towns that are being recaptured. The photos are so very disturbing, as they are showing our churches, homes, schools, and convents, hospitals burned and destroyed after they had been looted.”
Wanting to see the damage for themselves, a handful of Sisters recently returned to the liberated city of Qaraqosh to recover what they could from the rubble.