„Behnam Abboush won’t feel any safer if Iraqi forces drive Islamic State out of their stronghold of Mosul. That’s why he and 300 other Assyrian Christians in the paramilitary force under his command are taking matters into their own hands. Abboush says some members of his community, one of Iraq’s many religious and ethnic minorities, were abandoned to their fate when the jihadists swept through northern Iraq two years ago. Now his fighters are determined to protect Christian towns and villages in the Mosul region without relying on anyone else, while Iraqi government troops and other forces launch their offensive to regain the city nearby.
Ancient minorities have always been an integral part of Iraq’s complex social fabric. Their attitudes toward the government in Baghdad and their re-assimilation into society after the upheaval caused by Islamic State will test Iraqi leaders‘ pledges to deliver stability after the Mosul campaign. The Shi’ite-led government has promised that the assault, which started in the early hours of Monday, will improve security and unite a nation that has been in turmoil since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. But Abboush’s experiences illustrate why so many of the minorities – which range from the Christians and Yazidis to Turkmens and the Shabak people – have so little faith in the regional and central governments.“
(Babak Dehghanpisheh/Michael Georgy: „Iraq’s traumatized minorities: a test of unity after Mosul offensive“)