New batch of Christian volunteers to fight ISIL
Some 2500 Christians have volunteered to back the Iraqi armed forces and Peshmerga forces in liberating their towns and villages in Nineveh province.
Most of them are IDPs expelled by ISIL from regions neighboring Mosul. The new batch makes up 3 regiments. These regiments are to back the Iraqi army in the liberation of Mosul and maintaining security in Christian areas which have been taken back from ISIL.
During the summer 2014 blitz which saw ISIL’s advance into northern Iraq, the terror group took control over Christian regions east of Mosul. These areas include Tal-Kif, Bartella, Qaraqosh and other villages bordering Erbil.
In recent weeks, Christians who call themselves the “Nineveh Plains’ Brigades” have been engaged in fighting ISIL in the region of Tesqopa – 30 km northeast of Mosul. This comes as officials here in Erbil say the new batches are undergoing training courses to join the fight as well.
The new volunteers will be deployed in Fishkhabour camp in northern Iraq to receive proper training before joining popular mobilization units.
It’s worth-noting that Iraqi Christians are not the only minority in Iraq which have sought to form units to fight back ISIL.
Other minorities including Chabak, Turkmen, Kaka’e and Izadis have also formed such units.
A crucial element for the success of Iraqi forces in recent weeks was the varied makeup of the groups involved in the fighting.
Observers assert that this cooperation has set the stage for further support for the Iraqi Army; especially from minorities who were expelled from Mosul.