Iraqi Christians Who Recently Returned Home Forced to Flee Again as Skirmishes Break Out Between Kurds and Central Government

Villagers rushed to leave Teleskof on Tuesday evening after an Iraqi emissary told them to evacuate before sunrise in anticipation of further gunfire.

The first Iraqi Christians to return home after their village was freed from Islamic State control were forced to flee yet again Tuesday as Peshmerga forces stormed the area, a dark turn in what was broadly considered a “success story” of rebuilding in Northern Iraq.

Between 700-1,000 Christian families have been forced to evacuate the village of Teleskof, an Assyrian-Chaldean-Syriac Christian town about 19 miles north of Mosul, sources in the region told Fox News.

Peshmerga fighters from neighboring Kurdistan stationed in the village started engaging in a battle with forces from the Iraqi central government. The fighting wounded civilians, including children. People who returned only recently to rebuild their homes have been told to leave the village before the standoff between Kurdish and Iraqi forces reaches a boiling point.

“An emissary from the Iraqi government told the people of the village that they had until sunrise to evacuate,” a source in the region, who asked to be unidentified, tells Fox News. “They were told that the Iraqi army and the Shiite militia have said they will forcibly evict the Peshmerga in the morning.”

Teleskof was only recently liberated from ISIS and was considered the model for rehabilitating minority community towns and villages across the Nineveh Plain region of Northern Iraq earlier this year. The town was recently rebuilt with $2 million in aid from the Hungarian government.

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SOURCE: Fox News
Perry Chiaramonte, Hollie McKay