Christian forces formed to fight ISIS

Christian com­mu­ni­ties in Iraq’s Nin­eveh plains have formed a force to pre­vent fur­ther ad­vances by the Is­lamic State into their ar­eas

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Head of Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Party’s (KDP) Head­quar­ters in Telkef, Yelda Shimuel, said that the for­ma­tion of an armed force of more than 500 Christian fight­ers un­der the name of Nin­eveh Plains Force was de­clared in a cer­e­mony held in Te­lesqof last Tues­day.

The forces set up to de­fend the sa­cred lands as the Chris­tians think that they have hard bat­tles ahead of them.

“The forces are fight­ing un­der Min­istry of Pesh­mega Com­mand­ment and their main task is to de­fend Christian lands and to take back their ar­eas that have been oc­cu­pied by ISIS,” said Shimuel.

Shimuel also said that another force will be formed and the re­cruit­ment process will start soon.

In June, when ISIS cap­tured Mo­sul and be­gan at­tacks on Chris­tians and their ar­eas, thou­sands of them fled the city to neigh­bor­ing Do­huk in Kur­dis­tan or to the Telkef and Qaraqosh ar­eas con­trolled by the Pesh­merga forces.

After Chris­tians were forced to aban­don their homes, they were looted by their for­mer neigh­bors and friends while Is­lamic State ji­hadists burned, de­stroyed and looted churches, monas­ter­ies and pub­lic build­ings be­long­ing to Chris­tians. The ji­hadists also de­stroyed or sold off cen­turies-old manuscripts and other his­toric ar­ti­facts be­long­ing to them.

Sub­se­quently, Is­lamic State forces ad­vanced on other Christian vil­lages in the Nin­eveh Plains such as Quaraqosh, Alqosh, and Telkef.

Kur­dish Pesh­merga forces that had been fight­ing Is­lamic State in the re­gion, also fled, ced­ing the Christian vil­lages to Is­lamic State and forc­ing nearly 100,000 Chris­tians to seek refuge in Kur­dis­tan.

Most Iraqi Chris­tians be­long to an eth­nic group known as the Assyr­i­ans, a peo­ple con­sid­er­ing them­selves to be di­rect de­scen­dants of the nu­mer­ous an­cient Me­sopotamian civ­i­liza­tions such as the Sume­ri­ans, Akka­di­ans, Baby­lo­ni­ans, and Assyr­i­ans, who are men­tioned fre­quently in the holy Bi­ble.

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