Italy: Father Renato Sacco and Father Fabio Corazzina wrote a letter about Mosul


MOSUL, our city.

Mosul is the ancient Nineveh. The city where prophet Jonah went all over (proclaiming), “Forty more days and the city will be overthrown”. 

Mosul is a city in our hearts

We are not able to comprehend the pain, the tragedy that the inhabitants of that city experienced during Saddam’s dictatorship and the following “liberation” or exportation of democracy, then under the mad oppression by Isis and now while a new war is ongoing in order to free the city. What is happening to those people, beyond the typical triumphalist war bulletins?

Mosul is a city inhabited by 1.500.000 people  

We have been there a lot of times. Before, during and after the war of liberation from dictatorship. We have been welcomed in many homes, we have shared the meals and the Mass, in the Parish of “Perpetuo Soccorso”, with the parish priest Louis Sako. We have met there in Mosul, among his people, the bishop Faraj Rahho, kidnapped and killed on 13 March 2008. We have been there also on June 2003, when Bush said that the war ended. We came back there on November of the same year to the ordination of bishop of our friend Louis Sako. Those were the days of the carnage of Nasiriya. After those years, Mosul, like all of Iraq, did not interest the West so much, unless for its economic and military interests.

Mosul is a destroyed city

Until August 2014, Iraq left the attention of the international media. The spotlights, including those of politics and public opinion, were focused on other parts. Yet the reality was far from being calm, not at all in peace. During the first months of 2014, in Iraq about 1.000 people per month were killed. Then Isis arrived! At the beginning of June 2014, the big city of Mosul was occupied, and at the beginning of August 2014, the large escape of 100.000 people from the village of the Plain of Nineveh.

A free Mosul?

During these days, it seems that the city of Mosul has been reconquered by the Iraqi army, definitively getting out Isis. We see only images of destruction, pain, fear and desperation. But, it will come back, soon, inexorably, the silence over the stories of the people, imposed by the pomp of the victory.

We ask to ourselves:

  • How was it possible that Mosul fall so quickly in the hands of Isis?
  • Isis did not grow from morning to night (as it was the case of the castor-oil plant to let Jonah have shadow). Who has supported it?
  • Why do the important means of iMosulnformation, speaking about Mosul, not denounce also the big collusions between the West and Isis?
  • Still now, we know that Saudi Arabia supports Isis economically, ideologically and militarily: why is Italy still selling arms to Saudi Arabia? As it is the case of RWM bombs of Domusnovas in Sardinia.
  • Are we truly convinced that we want to fight Isis?
  • And why it has not been done before?
  • Which are the Western and Italian interests still on the table?
  • With Operation “Presidium”, Italy oversees the dam of Mosul: why? How has Isis lived these years of occupation? How has it protected the civilians? In regard to the Operation, the silence is total.
  • Do the common good, the lives of Iraqis people and in particular minorities interest us truly?

We believe that the invitation of the prophet Jonah must be granted also by us: “Let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands”.

If we do not change path, there will be other Mosul, other Isis, other silences and new massacres of civilians led by the mad illogic of the war.

5 July 2017

Father Renato Sacco, parish priest of Diocese of Novara - national coordinator of Pax Christi

Father Fabio Corazzina, parish priest of Diocese of Brescia - formerly coordinator of Pax Christi


Italy, Mosul, Renato Sacco, Fabio Corazzina