IRAQ – Christian families forced to flee homes for the second time as Kurds and Iraqis clash

Source:  www.barnabasaid.org

Date:  October 27, 2017

A thousand Christian families have been forced to flee their homes again because of clashes between Kurdish and Iraqi forces. The Christians had returned to their village after it was liberated from Islamic State (IS).

The village of Teleskof, 19 miles north of Mosul, had recently been rebuilt with aid money from the Hungarian government. However, on Tuesday 24 October, “an emissary from the Iraqi government told the people of the village that they had until sunrise to evacuate.”

Teleskof village

Children and other civilians have been wounded in clashes between Kurdish Pashmerga forces stationed in the village, and Iraqi Army and Shia militia. The Iraqi forces have stated they will “forcibly evict” the Kurds.

The Kurdish ethnic group have for decades campaigned for independence in the Kurdistan region, which includes parts of Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Many Christians fled to the autonomous Kurdish-controlled area of northern Iraq when IS invaded, but they have experienced discrimination from authorities in Iraqi-Kurdistan.

Christian families from Teleskof, who fled in August 2014 when IS captured the village, have now been forced out again, caught in the crossfire in the escalating conflict between the Iraqi and Kurdish governments.

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