lunedì, gennaio 23, 2017

 

Iraqi Christians return to ISIL's wreckage



Among what was left of their belongings, the family discovered that all of their religious ornaments had been decapitated.
[Claire Thomas/Al Jazeera]


The Batlos family fled Qaraqosh more than two years ago, when ISIL fighters captured the city. They recently returned home for the first time, only to discover their town in ruins.
As the battle rages to retake Mosul, the last Iraqi stronghold of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group, members of Iraq's Christian minority have started returning to the recently liberated town of Qaraqosh.
The Batlos family, who are Assyrian Catholics, fled Qaraqosh on August 6, 2014, after Kurdish forces warned them that ISIL would soon seize the city. Leaving all of their belongings behind, the family travelled to nearby Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region.
In December 2016, less than two months after Iraqi forces retook Qaraqosh from ISIL, the Batlos family returned home to discover large areas of the town in ruins, with no power or water supply. The threat of hidden improvised explosive devices planted by ISIL fighters continues to loom large.
"We are still scared here," Haitham Zeia Batlos told Al Jazeera. 

* See the other photos by Claire Thomas for Al Jazeera by clicking on the title

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