Christians celebrate after the military forces win back, a city from the clutches of terror group Islamic State. ISIS had captured this town two years ago, local Christians were forced to live under its rule since 2014.
Bartella is nestled some 21 kilometers east of Mosul, which was recently liberated from ISIS’s rule. While the military operation to liberate Mosul is underway, recapture of Bartella is a great strategic gain as, Bartella is on one of several main roads leading to Mosul.
In line with a news agency, Iraqis in the Christian Nineveh Plains Forces took part in the military operation against ISIS and fought alongside the special forces troops in the successful recapture of Bartella.
Ensuing the recapture, jubilant Christians rehung a Christian cross in the Syriac Orthodox Church of Saint Matthew. On this occasion, church bells rang as Christians offered prayers. Christian militia have taken up the task to defend the area from the militants and keep the area safe.
One of the member of Christian militia said: “We’re feeling something you can’t describe, that’s how happy we are. We are now back home in the land of our ancestors, our churches and our heritage. I want to tell my people: Don’t go. Stay. There is no reason to flee Iraq and go abroad. This our land, we have it back — and from now on, we will be the ones who defend it.”