Nahum’s tomb at risk from nearby fighting

Since the defeat of Islamic State, which came to a few miles of the shrine, the tomb of the Prophet Nahum that overlooks Nineveh plains in northern Iraq faces a new challenge: it  is now near the forefront of tensions between the Iraqi federal government and Kurdistan Regional Government. Seth Frantzman reports for the Jerusalem Post (with thanks: Lily):

 The partially-collapsed tomb of the prophet Nahum is said to be 2, 700 years old.(Photo: S Frantzman)

Since last week Iraqi forces, including Iranian-backed Shia militias, have been fighting with Peshmerga in an attempt by Baghdad to push Kurdish forces out of disputed areas and take oil fields and strategic border areas from the Kurds.

Although a cease-fire took effect on Friday, tensions remain high. Shelling in a Christian town near the Jewish tomb is the latest in years of turmoil that have affected the site.

The tomb is in the ancient Christian town of Al-Qosh, inside a complex that also served as a synagogue and has partly collapsed over the years. The Jewish community of this area of northern Iraq and Kurdistan left in the 1940s and 1950s.

The origin of the tomb is often said to date back 2,700 years.

National Geographic, however, noted in 2015 that the synagogue’s walls date from 1173. The article said that locals in the area had “wild conspiracy theories [that] warn of Zionist plots to seize control of war-torn Iraq and, with jihadists on the doorstep, the town’s people are nervous about feeding into these fears.”

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More about the tomb of Nahum at al-Kosh

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