In recent months, Mideast Christians have been forming militias to fight the Islamic State (IS) and other jihadi groups in both Iraq and Syria—even as the Obama administration, which arms the “opposition,” refuses to arm them.
In Iraq, some of the few remaining Assyrian Christians have formed militias under the name Dwekh Nawsha (literally meaning “self-sacrifice” in Christ’s native tongue of Aramaic). Most of these fighters are from among those Christians displaced from the Ninevah Plain due to the atrocities committed by IS and are on the frontlines fighting the jihadis.
They were formed soon after the U.S.-supported Kurdish Peshmerga, which is leading the fight against IS in the region, retreated from many Christian villages without a struggle last summer, declining to protect them from the IS advance which led to the usual atrocities.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, “Christians have taken up arms because they want to protect their own land, and many no longer trust the Kurds to do it for them.” Indeed, the Kurds, including the Peshmerga, have been known to abuse and even persecute Christians. Like IS, Kurds are Sunni Muslims too.
“We will stay here, and Christians will protect Christians. Not Arabs or Kurds protecting us, but Christians,” said local commander Fouad Masaoud Gorgees.
In neighboring Syria, approximately 500 Syriac Christian fighters recently assembled and managed to prevent the Islamic State from entering the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad. But on October 30, IS captured a town less than five miles away, leaving Sadad vulnerable to continued assaults.
Even the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox church, Ignatius Aphrem II, traveled to Sadad to boost the morale of Christian defenders. Said Aphrem:
It was emotional but it was also very encouraging to see our young people determined to defend their land and stay in their homeland. To see them ready to fight and to sacrifice for their land, I think that’s what’s very meaningful, that made me very proud of them.
There’s a reason why Christians are frantically trying to save Sadad from the clutches of IS. As one Syriac Christian fighter put it, Sadad “is a symbolic place for us and we will not allow it to fall again.”
He is referring to the events of October 2013, when the U.S.-supported Free Syrian Army—widely touted as moderate but in fact working with al-Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front—captured the town. They made a graphic video (with English subtitles) of those whom they killed, the “dogs of Assad”—“dog” being an ancient Islamic epithet for Christians—while shouting Islam’s victory-cry, “Allahu Akbar” (which John McCain equates to a Christian saying “thank God”) and praise for the Free Syrian Army.
During their one week occupation of Sadad, the moderate/radical coalition tortured, raped, and murdered 45 Christians; the bodies of six people from one family alone, ranging from ages 16 to 90, were found at the bottom of a well (an increasingly common fate for “subhuman” Christians).
At the time, Syriac Archbishop Selwanos Boutros called it Syria’s “largest massacre of Christians.” Even so, this massacre was wholly ignored by the Obama administration and so-called mainstream media in an effort to maintain the narrative that the Free Syrian Army was “moderate.”
Concerning the Sadad massacres, the archbishop had asked in 2013:
We have shouted aid to the world but no one has listened to us. Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers?
As persecuted Mideast Christians have well learned since, most Western governments—the Obama administration at their head—could care less about their fate… Keep reading