IRAQ'S TRAUMATIZED MINORITIES: A TEST OF UNITY
Behnam Abboush won't feel any safer if Iraqi forces drive Islamic State out of their stronghold of Mosul. That's why he and 300 other Assyrian Christians in the paramilitary force under his command are taking matters into their own hands. Abboush says some members of his community, one of Iraq's many religious and ethnic minorities, were abandoned to their fate when the jihadists swept through northern Iraq two years ago. Now his fighters are determined to protect Christian towns and villages in the Mosul region without relying on anyone else, while Iraqi government troops and other forces launch their offensive to regain the city nearby.