Telkep, North Iraq (AINA) -- 325 Assyrian families living in Mosul have been forced out from the ancient city and have taken refuge in the six Christian villages that make up Telkep County (Batnaya, Telkep, Taleskuf, Baqoutha, Alqosh, and Telkep). These families are the latest in a wave of refugees; 321 families fled to this area last week as they were forced out of Mosul, Baghdad, and Kirkuk.
This latest exodus was caused by threats from Islamic terrorists. Several groups of Muslims entered various churches in Mosul and ordered the parishioners to leave within ten minutes, permanently close the churches and never return.
Officials describe the situation as "dismal." The villages are in dire need of assistance to care for the refugees. The Red Cross and Red Crescent have been notified but no assistance from these organizations has come yet. The refugee families, now totaling 646, are living in churches and in the ancient monasteries that dot the landscape of outside of Mosul.
In addition to Telkep County, Assyrian refugees are also flocking to Mahmoudiya County, which is predominantly Christian.