Mrayma Mansour, who leads the night patrol of Assyrian Christian fighters in the town of Al Qosh, Iraq looks anxious. He has a dagger tucked into the waist band of his fatigues and his large green eyes are bloodshot. Around him sit his men, holding hand-me-down weapons.
The talk is of betrayal. When the Kurdish peshmerga forces retreated from the “Islamic State” (IS) advance on Christian towns at the beginning of August, Mrayma’s and his men stayed on, not knowing if Al Qosh would be attacked.
Al Qosh, an Assyrian Christian town of around 6,000 people, overlooks the flat Nineveh plains in Iraq. Families are now cautiously returning and peshmerga fighters are pushing back again on the front line, just 15 kilometers away.