ISIS militants have severely damaged a convent in Mosul in northern Iraq, according to reports.
Fides news agency have reported that the Convent of the Chaldean Sisters of the Sacred Heart had been occupied by the militants and used as a logistics base – one of 45 Christian sites they have captured since taking over Mosul in June, occupying some, converting some to mosques or ISIS headquarters and destroying others.
It is thought that ISIS may have abandoned the convent because of the threat of air strikes from the American-led anti-Caliphate coalition forces.
Local sources report that the militants warned local people before making two attempts to destroy the convent. After the first was unsuccessful they used more powerful explosives, causing massive damage to the convent as they apparently aimed to bring down its cross.
Known as the Convent of Victory, the convent of the Chaldean sisters of the Sacred Heart was built thanks to a donation from Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi President executed in 2006.
It is reported that the neighbouring monastery of St George, belonging to the order of St Anthony Sant’Ormisda of the Chaldeans, has not been damaged.