Compiled from World News and ASSIST News reports
MOSUL — Islamic State militants have destroyed tombs long ascribed to the Old Testament prophets Jonah and Daniel in Mosul, according to eyewitness reports and video footage posted on YouTube. The demolition came as the Sunni-led, al-Qaeda-linked militants—who stormed Mosul June 10 and have occupied Iraq’s second largest city and the surrounding area in Nineveh province—also demolished tombs and related sites sacred to Shiite Muslims. The fighters have chased thousands of Christians out of Mosul, confiscating their homes and belongings.
According to Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana, an Assyrian Christian leader who heads the Christian Aid Program in northern Iraq—Islamic State fighters have seized all 30 churches and monasteries in the Mosul area, removing their crosses and burning or destroying many of the buildings. Two ancient monasteries have been looted and their residents forced to convert to Islam or be killed, forcing them to flee into exile farther north. Almost no Christians remain in Mosel after ISIS issued an ultimatum to Iraqi Christians living there that they must convert to Islam, pay a fine or face death. This warning was read out in Mosul’s mosques and broadcast throughout the city on loudspeakers; “We offer [Christians] three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract—involving payment… or, if they refuse this, they will have nothing but the sword.”