Iraq’s Christians Turn to Militia for Protection


From The Wall Street Journal:

“Two years ago, Mubarak Tuwaya fled when Islamic State militants made a triumphant charge through northern Iraq.

Now he is back in his hometown, wearing the uniform of an Iraqi militia that is helping drive out the extremists—and aiming to secure a place for Christians and other local minorities in Iraq’s future.

Capt. Tuwaya’s U.S.-trained force is made up of about 500 troops and 300 unpaid volunteers, most of them Assyrian Christians from Hamdaniya, a district east of Mosul that is home to Qaraqosh, Iraq’s largest Christian town.

The Iraqi army’s 9th Division captured the district with the militia’s support in late October, in the early days of the current U.S-backed campaign to retake Mosul, the Sunni extremist group’s last major stronghold in the country.

The army then largely handed responsibility for holding Hamdaniya to the militia, whose next mission is to persuade other Christians it is safe to return.”


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