ASIA/IRAQ - Even a Christian among former jihadist prisoners freed in Tal Afar

Tuesday, 29 August 2017 area crisis   oriental churches   women   jihadists   kidnappings

Tal Afar (Agenzia Fides) - Rana Behnam is a Christian woman who was freed in the suburbs of Tal Afar after having been held for a long time in a place of segregation by the jihadists of the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Tal Afar, along with other yazida women. Her release - according to Iraqi media reports - took place during the offensive that was launched last Sunday by the Iraqi army and other militias to resume full control of Tal Afar, a town west of Mosul, to the border with Syria, the last stronghold of the jihadists of the Islamic State (Daesh), after the reconquest of Mosul by the Iraqi army. Photos released by website show Rana with two Chaldean priests and some family members.
The offensive on Tal Afar provoked another mass escape of civilians trying to protect themselves from the clashes between Iraqi army and Daesh militiamen. The city – those fleeing reported to humanitarian organizations, was bombed, and nothing was left to eat.
The militiamen of the self-proclaimed Islamic State had conquered Mosul in June 2014 and in the following months they also took control of towns and villages of the Nineveh Plain. Prior to the advancement of jihadists, tens of thousands of Christians from Mosul and the entire region had left their homes, finding shelter especially in the suburbs of Erbil and in other areas of Iraqi Kurdistan. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 29/8/2017)