Kurdish forces reportedly liberate Christian villages overrun by ISIL

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Several Christian villages that were overrun by members of [Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (or Syria)  ISIS were recaptured by Kurdish peshmerga forces after a clash in northern Iraq that resulted in the death of a senior commander in the terror group on Tuesday.

Kurdish peshmerga forces celebrate as they take control of Sulaiman Pek in the northwest of Tikrit city, Iraq, on Sept. 1. / Youssef Boudlal / Reuters

Kurdish peshmerga forces celebrate as they take control of Sulaiman Pek in the northwest of Tikrit city, Iraq, on Sept. 1. / Youssef Boudlal / Reuters

Reports from the AFP and AINA highlighted the victories. In early August, ISIS militants forced tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians to flee their homes in an exodus Christian leaders described as the worst assault on their group in centuries. Iraq’s largest Christian village Qaraqosh and many others were emptied of Christians driven out by ISIS.

On Tuesday, a senior officer with the peshmerga forces, the main security force of the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, confirmed that ISIS militants were booted from four villages — Hassan al-Sham, Syudan, Bahra and Jisr al-Khadhr — located in the Nineveh plain region between Erbil and Mosul, which are being used as a main hub by ISIS. …

The recapture of the Christian villages was confirmed by a cleric in the Chaldean Catholic Church. “The peshmerga managed to liberate several villages, including Hassan al-Sham and Syudan. (IS) militants have now fled from there,” the cleric told AFP on condition of anonymity.

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