MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) – Islamic State (IS) militants have seized Bakhdida, also known as Qaraqosh, the largest Christian town in Iraq, Agence France Presse reported Thursday, citing local church officials.
“The towns of Qaraqosh, Tal Kayf, Bartella and Karamlesh have been emptied of their original population and are now under the control of the militants,” Joseph Thomas, the Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah, said, calling the situation a catastrophe.
“We call on the UN Security Council to immediately intervene,” Thomas added.
The Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), is one of the principal jihadist groups fighting against the Syrian government. The IS launched a full-scale offensive on Northern Iraq in June, declaring itself an Islamic caliphate. The caliphate includes regions with Christians and other religious minorities.