Fr. Luis Montes, an Argentinian priest of the Institute of the Incarnate Word and a missionary in Iraq, told ACI Prensa that the attack is "quite serious," but explained that there has not yet been anything "directly against Christians in this regard."
Montes told ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish-language news partner, that he is concerned that the threat of instability in Iraq will "make life harder for Christians."
"The war affects us Christians more than others because there are fewer of us, we're more unprotected" from the "the insecurity and violence," he said. Most Christians have left the region, which further erodes efforts to help stabilize the country.
"All this instability and violence is the perfect opportunity for violent people, for the terrorists, for interests outside the country interested in the country's resources, and this is adverse to the population," said Montes.
Edward Clancy of Aid to the Church in Need also expressed concern about how the new instability would harm the Christian population. Clancy, who works as the group's outreach director, told CNA that his initial reaction to hearing about the airstrike was "'Oh no,' but also hopeful at the same time."
"Terrorist activity will disproportionately affect the Christians. Not necessarily in the numbers killed, but in the numbers that remain. People will leave, because of lack of safety," he said.
"So right now, it is of utmost importance, whoever can provide it, give to the Christian community [a sense of] security," said Clancy.
Clancy especially highlighted the the Nineveh region, traditionally home to some of the world's oldest Christian communities, where there is a lack of infrastructure and communication networks, and Christians are left "high and dry" in a "very difficult situation."
The community there is "very vulnerable right now," Clancy said.
"We just have to be really, really vigilant about praying for these people, and we also have to put pressure on people in charge to make sure [the Christian community] is not forgotten."