By Mark Ellis
Christina Khader Ebada, a 3 year-old Assyrian girl, was abducted from her Christian family in northern Iraq as they fled Baghdeda, also known as Qaraqosh, according to the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA).
In July, ISIS forces attempted to occupy the city, but Kurdish Peshmerga fought them off, while elders, women, and children fled to neighboring towns. The town is near the ancient city of Ninevah, and many of the Christians there trace their roots to the time of Jonah.
Then ISIS cut off Baghdeda’s water supply and placed an embargo on the town, so that nearby Muslim villages stopped trading with them. Those who remained were left fighting for survival.
On August 6, Kurdish troops withdrew from the city and the next day ISIS invaded the town. Many joined the 150,000 Assyrian Christians who were forced to walk towards Erbil without their cars and possessions because Kurdish forces feared Islamist infiltration, according to AINA.
ISIS escorted Christina’s family, as well as many other residents, to the Khazar checkpoint and told them to leave and never return.
The girl was last seen by her mother crying and sobbing as a heavily bearded ISIS fighter carried her away.
The Ebada family was one of a handful of Assyrian Christian families that had not left Baghdeda when the Kurdish forces withdrew.
In Bashiqa, an predominantly Assyrian Christian village northeast of Mosul in the Nineveh Plain, a Muslim resident entered the home of his Assyrian neighbors, a father and son, because of a bad smell and discovered their bodies. He found the father, George David, and his son Saad David, dead from starvation. Both father and son were deaf and mute and may not have known to leave after ISIS entered the town. The Muslim neighbor buried the bodies in a church.
Also in Bashiqa, an elderly Assyrian Christian man, aged 70, was found in his home sitting in his chair, dead due to starvation, according to AINA.
Since entering Iraq and capturing Mosul on June 10, ISIS has driven all Assyrians from that city. There are no Assyrians Christians remaining in Mosul. ISIS has also destroyed or occupied all 45 Christian churches and other institutions in Mosul. It has targeted all non-Sunni Muslim groups — Shabaks, Yazidis and Turkmen as well.