Christians in Mosul join oppressed Muslims to fight against terror group

Some members of Iraq's Christian minority, who have been forced to leave Mosul by ISIS militants, have created their own army and established ties with Muslims, mostly Sunni, to fight off the jihadists

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Latest reports have it that about a thousand Christians who are currently being victimized by fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq (ISIS) have joined forces with their "Muslim brothers" to fight the terror group.

According to the International Business Times, some members of Iraq's Christian minority, who have been forced to leave Mosul by ISIS militants, have created their own army and established ties with Muslims, mostly Sunni, to fight off the jihadists.

The Christians of Mosul suffered greatly when ISIS launched a surprise attack last year. They have been forced to convert to Islam and give bribes to avoid being displaced from their homes. Christian women have been raped and sold as slaves while others were killed.

Iraq is home to one of the world's oldest Christian communities, who number 260,000 of the country's 32-million population in 2010. However, "for the first time in 2,000 years, there are now no Christians in Mosul," the International Business Times said.

Christian Today reports that after the capture of Mosul, around 1,000 Christians who call themselves the "Babylonian Brigades" started training with Sunni and Shiite militias generally known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces to get back at ISIS.

"[ISIS] displaced us from our houses. They took our money, killed our young men and women and they took our properties," said Rayan Al-Kildani, commander of the Brigades.

"Therefore, Christians decided to fight the terrorists of ISIS. By the will of God we will avenge what happened to our community."

Al-Kildani said the battlefield does not allow religious differences, wrote NBC News.

"ISIS terrorists do not differentiate among Christians, Muslims, Sunnis and Shiites — they kill everyone," he said. "We have to help our Muslim brothers liberate Iraq."

Christians have "lived for years side by side with our Muslim brothers," said 53-year-old Abu Yasser, a former Iraqi Army officer now fighting in the brigades. "We drink from the same river and eat the same food; this goes back hundreds and thousands of years."

"In battlefield you forget who you are, to which religion you belong ... The only thing that you think of is how to defeat your enemy," Yasser said.

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