AINA News
Assyrian Forces Secure Abandoned Front Line Town Against ISIS In North Iraq

Christian militiamen look towards the rubble-strewn altar of the 13th century St. Jacob's Church on November 4, 2015 near the frontline with ISIS fighters in Telskuf, northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.
(AINA) -- The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured the city of Mosul, Iraq on June 10. Almost immediately thereafter it began to drive Assyrians out of Mosul and destroy Christian and non-Sunni institutions. On August 7, 2014 ISIS pushed into the Nineveh Plains north and east of Mosul, the last Assyrian stronghold in Iraq, causing 200,000 Assyrians to flee their homes to Arbel and Dohuk. Most have not returned.

Related: Timeline of ISIS in Iraq

There are no Assyrians/Christians remaining in Mosul, all have fled to the north, to Alqosh, Dohuk and other Assyrian villages. All Christian institutions in Mosul (churches, monasteries and cemeteries), numbering 45, have been destroyed, occupied, converted to mosques, converted to ISIS headquarters or shuttered.

Related: Church Bombings in Iraq Since 2004

ISIS has killed Assyrians in Mosul. It has snatched Assyrian girls from the arms of their mothers, never to be seen again (AINA 2014-08-28). ISIS has also engaged in the destruction of the Assyrian cultural heritage, both in Syria and Iraq. It destroyed the city of Nimrud, destroyed the walls of Nineveh, destroyed Assyrian artifacts in the Mosul museum. In Syria it destroyed Assyrian churches (AINA 2015-06-18) and archaeological sites (AINA 2014-05-17).

The Assyrian town of Telsqof, shown below in the pictures, was completely looted by ISIS (AINA 2014-08-13). The Assyrian residents fled the town, located north of Mosul, on August 7 when ISIS pushed into the Nineveh Plains (AINA 2014-08-07).

A Christian militiaman stands atop St. George's Church on November 4, 2015 in Telskuf, near the frontline with ISIS in northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

Christian militiamen look towards the ISIS frontline from St. George's Church on November 4, 2015 in Telskuf, northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

A Christian militiaman looks towards the sunset in the abandoned streets of Telskuf on November 4, 2015 near the frontline with ISIS fighters in Telskuf, northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

A Christian militiaman patrols through rubble in Telskuf on November 4, 2015 near the frontline with ISIS fighters in Telskuf, northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

Christian militiamen leave the 13th century St. Jacob's Church on November 4, 2015 near the frontline with ISIS fighters in Telskuf, northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

A Christian militiaman passes a broken figure of Christ inside St. George's Church on November 4, 2015 in Telskuf, near the frontline with ISIS in northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

A Christian militiaman looks towards the ISIS frontline from St. George's Church on November 4, 2015 in Telskuf, northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

A Christian militiaman looks towards the ISIS frontline from St. George's Church on November 4, 2015 in Telskuf, northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

A Christian militiaman stands near the broken body of a statue of Christ in the 13th century St. Jacob's Church on November 4, 2015 near the frontline with ISIS fighters in Telskuf, northern Iraq. The figure was smashed by ISIS extremists, according to Christian militia. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

A Christian militiaman climbs atop a building while on patrol on November 4, 2015 in Telskuf, near the frontline with ISIS in northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

A Christian militiaman looks over a broken figure of Christ inside St. George's Church on November 4, 2015 in Telskuf, near the frontline with ISIS in northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

The fascade of St. George's Church stands damaged from war on November 4, 2015 in Telskuf, near the frontline with ISIS in northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

A Christian militiaman looks out from St. George's Church on November 4, 2015 in Telskuf, near the frontline with ISIS in northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.

A Christian militiaman passes a tableau of The Last Supper inside St. George's Church on November 4, 2015 in Telskuf, near the frontline with ISIS in northern Iraq. All of the town's 11,000 predominantly Chaldean Catholic residents fled when it was overrun by the Islamic State in 2014 before being retaken by Peshmerga forces with the aid of American airstrikes. Of the 1,800 families that fled, some 40 percent left Iraq, according to Safaa Khamro, commander of the Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), Christian militia. Many, he said, have now immigrated to Europe.


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