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The Golden Brigade, the anti-terrorist division of the Iraqi army, has liberated the first Christian city of Bartella, located around Mosul. Just hours later, Christian militiamen returned to their village.

France 24 (23.10.2016) – – After two years in forced exile, the Christian militiamen of the brigade made it their first duty to replace a cross on the dome of their church, devastated by jihadists.

In 2014, Assyrian Christians fled Bartella, a town about 20 kiometres east of Mosul. Men from the town and surrounding Mosul region formed a militia known as the Forces of the Plain of Nineveh. Their few hundred fighters sometimes fight alongside the peshmerga.

“Our aim is to defend our land. We must never re-live what we have just been through with Daesh. Our people are scattered, our children are dead, we had to live in tents. Now I want to send a message to my people:Bartella is Liberated,” one of the fighters said.

But Mosul is part of an ongoing offensive to drive the Islamic State group out of the region and it will have to be reconquered and secured before these men can consider bringing their families back.

Other videos from Bartella
Iraqi troops liberate Christian town of Bartella
Iraqi army drives Islamic State from Christian region


Mosul battle video
Iraqi army retakes Christian town of Qaraqosh

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