A large stash of ancient Syriac Christian manuscripts have been uncovered in Iraq after the arrest of a suspected member of ISIS. The books were hidden in his kitchen.
“Thanks be to God! Iraqi authorities found a stash of stolen Syriac manuscripts stolen by ISIS from various Syriac churches in Mosul. These are the treasures and heritage of the Syriac-speaking Christians of Mesopotomia, a great blessing that they have survived such evil”, Chaldean Catholic priest Fr Marcus tweeted.
“The manuscripts found incidentally are only tip in the iceberg, while hundred (if not thousands) of other artefacts and manuscripts are still missing, destroyed, looted or probably burnt. The entire Mosul museum was found cleared out after the city recaptured”, added Armenian consultant Harry Istepanian, on Twitter.
Islamic fighters are thought to have stolen the priceless Biblical texts from Assyrian churches across the beleaguered city of Mosul, which between 2014 and 2017 became the terror group’s de facto capital.
In a statement revealing details of the wonderful discovery, Mosul Police Chief Laith Al Hamdani said: “The arrest of a suspected ISIS member led to the recovery of 32 archaeological books that were in his possession. The man hid the books in his kitchen.”
Mosul was liberated in 2017 after an international military coalition defeated the occupying ISIS forces in a bloody battle lasting more than nine months.