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Assyrians Erect a 30-Foot Christmas Tree in Baghdad to Celebrate the Defeat of ISIS
By Warner Todd Huston

Residents of Baghdad have erected a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree to celebrate Christmas and to mark the end of the terror army Islamic State (ISIS), beaten back by Iraqi Security Forces.

The giant tree made international news, according to a Fox News tweet which read, "Iraqi Christians have raised a 30-ft. tall Christmas tree in Baghdad to celebrate both the holiday and the expulsion of ISIS extremists by Iraq Security Forces."

Presidential spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders also remarked on the incredible display in a December 24 tweet reading, "Thank God for the President's leadership in fight to defeat ISIS."

This year's display mirrors last year's tree erected by Muslim businessman Yassi Saad who then said he hoped that the display would help bring together Christian and Muslim Iraqis in a new spirit of cooperation as his country continued to heal after being freed from Saddam Hussein's tyranny.

In 2016, Saad said that his goal was to join "our Christian brothers in their holiday celebrations and helping Iraqis forget their anguish."

The businessman also noted that the 33-foot-diameter, 85-foot-tall tree cost him around $24,000 to build last year. This year's tree erected at the same location and with similar measurements is likely also similar in costs.

It wasn't clear if Mr. Saad was involved in this year's decoration.


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