Dohuk, Iraq (AINA) -- Local and internally displaced Assyrians living in north Iraq are being pressured by Kurdish officials to sign a petition for Kurdish independence from Iraq. The petition is being distributed by Kurdish mayors in north Iraq in the areas surrounding Dohuk (Noohadra in Assyrian), including the villages of Cree Basee, Askari and Malta.
The petition calls for the establishment of an independent Kurdish state and a national province called Nineveh, which includes the Nineveh Plains, the last stronghold of Assyrians in Iraq.
Related: Timeline of ISIS in Iraq
On August 7, 2014 ISIS drove into the Nineveh Plains, causing nearly 200,000 Assyrians to flee their homes and villages. Most have not returned and are now internally displaced in north Iraq, living in Dohuk and its surrounding areas, and in Ankawa, an Assyrian suburb of Arbel.
According to Assyrians in Iraq, the leadership of the new Nineveh province will be headed by Sunni Arabs based in Mosul, who see themselves as potential allies of the Kurds.
A separate petition circulated by Shammar Arabs, a Sunni tribe in north Iraq, asks signatories for support for joining the Kurdish territory.
Here is the translation of the Kurdish petition for independence:
Declaration of Allegiance
We, the signatories listed here below, are internally displaced people to beloved Kurdistan. We thank the president, the government, and the people of Kurdistan for hospitality we were showered with. We declare:
1. We stand unified with the President of Kurdistan, Mr. Masoud Barazani, and the heroes of the Peshmarga troops, in support of them against terrorism and against any looming threats to the security and safety of the territory of Kurdistan.
2. We ask the President, Mr. Masoud al-Barazani, to supervise the operation of liberating Nineveh in collaboration with the Iraqi Army, and the "People troops" (from Nineveh) to assure the lawful conditions during and after the liberation on Nineveh.
3. We declare our support to return the annexed regions from Kurdistan back to Kurdistan. We also declare our full support to the right of Kurdistan to decide its fate to include its right to declare independent Kurdish state.
4. We support he creation of National Nineveh district, with its capital the City of Mosul in a strategic unity with the territory of Kurdistan, and to expedite the establishment of a transition committee for the territory of Kurdistan.
Number Name ID Place of Displacement Telephone Signature 1 2
We have signed on our own volition with no pressure or coercion Date / /2016 Name of the signatory Name of lawyer
Here is the translation of the Shammar tribe petition:
In the Name of Allah the Merciful
We, the signatories here below, from the tribe of "Shammar", we desire on our own volition to join the territory of Kurdistan because they liberated our land by the blood of the thousands of the heroes of the Pashmerga troops, and for the peace and security they provided us with, therefore we signed.