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Macron tours sites in Mosul ravaged by fighting with Islamic State

6 8 0
29.08.2021

MOSUL, Iraq — French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday visited Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, which suffered widespread destruction during the war to defeat the Islamic State terror group in 2017.

Macron began his visit to Mosul by touring the Our Lady of the Hour Church, a Catholic church that was badly damaged during IS rule that lasted from 2014 until the extremists’ defeat three years later. Iraqi children dressed in white and waving Iraqi and French flags sang upon Macron’s arrival.

It was the same church where Pope Francis led a special prayer during a visit to Iraq in March. During that trip, the Pontiff urged Iraq’s Christians to forgive the injustices against them by Muslim extremists and to rebuild as he visited the wrecked shells of churches.

Macron moved around the church — whose walls are still riddled with bullets — amid tight security as a priest accompanying him gave him details about the church built in the 19th century. The French president then went up to the roof overlooking parts of Mosul accompanied by Iraqi officials.

“We hope that France will open a consulate in Mosul,” Iraqi priest Raed Adel told Macron inside the church. He also called on the president to help in the reconstruction of Mosul’s airport.

Macron left the church in the early afternoon and headed to Mosul’s landmark al-Nuri mosque, which was blown up in the battle with IS........

© The Times of Israel


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