Athra Kado, a member of an Iraqi Christian Assyrian militia who volunteered to fight the Islamic State (IS) group, speaks with a journalist on September 18, 2014 in the town of Al-Qosh, 45 kms north of Mosul. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED SAWAF
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Iraq's Christians start taking security into their own handsWhen jihadists raided their ancient heartland last month, Iraq's Christian Assyrians were left defenseless and fled, but now some have decided it is time to put up a fight.In Sharafiya, a village that Kurdish peshmerga retook from ISIS fighters just north of the jihadist hub of Mosul, the homes are still empty and only a few armed men can be seen patrolling.It was officially created Aug. 11, a week after the Ninevah plain exodus that clerics have called the worst disaster to ever befall Iraq's Christians, and is made up of a modest 100 men.According to the Assyrian Democratic Movement, Iraq's most prominent Christian political party, at least 2,000 men have already volunteered to fight ISIS.In Iraq, while there is no alternative for the Christians but to cooperate with the peshmerga, some wounds will take time to heal.
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