16:22 GMT +329 March 2017
    Displaced Iraqi Christian children gather outside a primary school at the Ashti camp for people who fled the violence in the northern city of Mosul after jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) group took control of the area, on April 12, 2016 in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq

    Daesh Terrorists 'Torture, Imprison and Even Burn Iraqi Christians Alive'

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    The radical terrorist group, notorious for its brutality towards ethnic and religious minorities, has tortured Iraqi Christians, raping women, burning alive those, who tried to oppose the militants, and destroying churches, Baha Erzan Asu, a Christian from Mosul who has moved to Erbil, told Sputnik.

    "Christians living in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan have suffered a lot from Daesh thugs. Terrorists have tortured, imprisoned and even burned them alive in churches. Some of the churches were blown up. In October 2014, jihadists leveled many churches in the Bartilla and Hamdaniye settlements, located to the east of Mosul. The majority of the local population was Christian. Tens of thousands were forced to flee Mosul and its surrounding areas for Baghdad and Erbil due to Daesh," he said.

    © Sputnik/ Hikmet Durgun

    Baha Erzan Asu mentioned that Saddam Hussein has also cracked down on Christians. Approximately three million Christians lived in Iraq, but due to Saddam Hussein's and Daesh policies they have either become internally displaced or fled the country, moving to the United States, Canada, Germany and France.

    He detailed what the Christians had to go through after Daesh declared its caliphate in mid-2014.

    "They said that you are 'infidels' and 'our slaves.' They have burned down houses of those Christians who tried to oppose jihadists' laws. Christians, who failed to obey, were locked in churches and burned alive. They raped girls and women. The majority of militants took Christian girls as wives. Many Christians have been tortured to death."

    Daesh has also kept many Christians prisoners, he added.

    Baha Erzan Asu
    © Sputnik/ Hikmet Durgun
    Baha Erzan Asu

    Christians fighting along Iraqi Army, Kurds to free Mosul

    Christian volunteers have joined Iraqi security forces and Peshmerga to take part in the large-scale operation to liberate Mosul and areas around the second largest city in the country from Daesh, Baha Erzan Asu noted.

    "We hope that Mosul will be freed as soon as possible," he said. "Recently, the Iraqi Army pushed Daesh out of my home village of Keraköç located close to Hamdaniye. We were so happy when we heard the news. I plan to visit my home in the village to see what has become of it. If there is something left there, I will take it here, to Erbil."

    Iraqi security forces, assisted by the US-led coalition, Kurdish militias and local allies launched an operation to free Mosul, the capital of the Nineveh province, on October 16. The operation, named We Are Coming, Nineveh, has seen Baghdad-led troops free dozens of villages and settlement close to Mosul.

    In early November, Iraqi security forces entered the city, home to approximately 1.5 million civilians. They have struggled to advance further due to sniper fire, booby-traps, suicide bombers and road blocks.

    © Sputnik/ Hikmet Durgun
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    Mosul operation, persecution of Christians, Islamic extremism, radical Islam, Christians, military operation, Daesh, Iraq, Mosul
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    • NATOisEVIL
      I can not find words for what they are going true. Its awful, and the Islam thugs does it against to Christ him self.
      Must God bless those who suffer these horrendous doings with all the strength they need, and must God relieve their pain and save their lives, in the name of Jesus Christ.
    • avatar
      Who should we punished for these DAESH crimes? The two Bushes!
    • Jonathan Fergusonin reply topeaceactivist2(Show commentHide comment)
      peaceactivist2, Yes, these great 'Men of God' George Bush and Tony Blair! If there is not a single Christian or Jew left in the MIddle East 100 years for now, they must bear their share of the blame! There is no circle of hell too hot for them. Dante is speechless in horror.
    • Jonathan Ferguson
      'God told me to do it.' Really? And these are now the consequences of what you were told to do? Is your God suicidal, does he want Christians to be destroyed, with all these other innocent people too. George, you are a damned fool, in every sense of the term...

      When your last day finally arrives, how many years and decades from now it will be, you and your glossy, clean-shaven stroke-poodle will split hell wide open!
    • avatar
      Baha Erzan Asu mentioned that Saddam Hussein has also cracked down on Christians.
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