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Christian militias in Iraq and Syria

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An Assyrian Christian church in Alqosh
An Assyrian Christian church in Alqosh

A number of Christian militias in Iraq and Syria have been formed since the start of the Syrian Civil War and in the 2013-2017 War. The militias are composed of fighters mainly from the Assyrian but also include Arab and Armenian Christian communities in Syria, and Assyrians in Iraq have formed militias in the north to protect Assyrian communities, towns and villages in the Assyrian homeland and Nineveh Plains.[1] Some foreign Christian fighters from the Western world have also joined these militias.[2][3]

After the spread of the conflicts, and the rise of the Islamist factions, many Christian civilians fled, in particular in fear of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who have violently persecuted Christians in the areas that have come under their control.[4] Some of those that have stayed formed militias, largely to protect their own populations from ISIL and other hardline Sunni Islamist factions such as al-Qaeda's Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, and Jund al-Aqsa. While initially forming to protect their own territory, some of the larger militias have gone on the offensive.

Before the war, as much as 10% of the population in Syria was Assyrian, Armenian, or Arab Christian, who made up one of the largest Christian minorities in the Middle East. In the early days of the civil war, some Christian communities were given arms by both the Syrian government and Kurdish groups, to defend themselves against sectarian Sunni Islamist Syrian rebels. The Syriac Military Council, a Syriac-Assyrian Christian militia allied with the Kurdish-majority People's Protection Units (YPG), is the largest Christian militia in the Syrian civil war. By comparison with some of the other armed groups in Syria, Christian militias are small, and dependent on the Syrian government or the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.[5] Defence units set up under the auspices of the Syrian government are called Popular Committees, which have since been integrated into the National Defence Forces.[6]

Maronite Christians in Lebanon have also formed militias to fight against Islamic State incursions from Syria.

Discover more about Christian militias in Iraq and Syria related topics

Assyrian people

Assyrian people

Assyrians are an indigenous Middle-Eastern ethnic group native to Mesopotamia in West Asia. Modern Assyrians descend from their ancient counterparts, originating of the ancient indigenous Mesopotamians of Akkad and Sumer, who first developed the civilisation in northern Mesopotamia that would become Assyria in 2600 BCE. Assyrians have been speaking dialects of Suret, a Semitic language of the Neo-Aramaic branch, since approximately 1000 BCE. Modern Assyrians often culturally self-identify as Syriacs, Chaldeans, or Arameans for religious, geographic and tribal identification.

Arabs

Arabs

The Arabs, also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group mainly inhabiting the Arab world in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the western Indian Ocean islands. An Arab diaspora is also present around the world in significant numbers, most notably in the Americas, Western Europe, Turkey, Indonesia, and Iran. In modern usage, the term "Arab" tends to refer to those who both carry that ethnic identity and speak Arabic as their native language. This contrasts with the narrower traditional definition, which refers to the descendants of the tribes of Arabia. The religion of Islam was developed in Arabia, and Classical Arabic serves as the language of Islamic literature. 93 percent of Arabs are Muslims, while Arab Muslims are only 20 percent of the global Muslim population.

Armenians

Armenians

Armenians are an ethnic group native to the Armenian highlands of Western Asia. Armenians constitute the main population of Armenia and the de facto independent Artsakh. There is a wide-ranging diaspora of around five million people of full or partial Armenian ancestry living outside modern Armenia. The largest Armenian populations today exist in Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, Iran, Germany, Ukraine, Lebanon, Brazil, and Syria. With the exceptions of Iran and the former Soviet states, the present-day Armenian diaspora was formed mainly as a result of the Armenian genocide.

Iraq

Iraq

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf and Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Iraqi Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Assyrians, Armenians, Yazidis, Mandaeans, Persians and Shabakis with similarly diverse geography and wildlife. The vast majority of the country's 44 million residents are Muslims – the notable other faiths are Christianity, Yazidism, Mandaeism, Yarsanism and Zoroastrianism. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish; others also recognised in specific regions are Neo-Aramaic, Turkish and Armenian.

Assyrian homeland

Assyrian homeland

The Assyrian homeland, Assyria refers to the homeland of the Assyrian people within which Assyrian civilisation developed, located in their indigenous Upper Mesopotamia. The territory that forms the Assyrian homeland is, similarly to the rest of Mesopotamia, currently divided between present-day Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria. In Iran, the Urmia Plain forms a thin margin of the ancestral Assyrian homeland in the north-west, and the only section of the Assyrian homeland beyond the Mesopotamian region. The majority of Assyrians in Iran currently reside in the capital city, Tehran.

Al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda, officially known as Qaedat al-Jihad, is a multinational militant Sunni Islamic extremist network composed of Salafist jihadists. Its members are mostly composed of Arabs, but may also include other peoples. Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on civilian and military targets in various countries, including the 1998 United States embassy bombings, the September 11 attacks, and the 2002 Bali bombings; it has been designated as a terrorist group by the United Nations Security Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, India, and various other countries.

Al-Nusra Front

Al-Nusra Front

Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra, known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham after July 2016, and also described as al-Qaeda in Syria or al-Qaeda in the Levant, was a Salafist jihadist terrorist organization fighting against Syrian government forces in the Syrian Civil War. Its aim was to establish an Islamic state in the country. The group has changed its name several times and merged with and separated from other groups.

Ahrar al-Sham

Ahrar al-Sham

Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya, commonly referred to as Ahrar al-Sham, is a coalition of multiple Islamist and Salafist units that coalesced into a single brigade and later a division in order to fight against the Syrian Government led by Bashar al-Assad during the Syrian Civil War. Ahrar al-Sham was led by Hassan Aboud until his death in 2014. In July 2013, Ahrar al-Sham had 10,000 to 20,000 fighters, which at the time made it the second most powerful unit fighting against al-Assad, after the Free Syrian Army. It was the principal organization operating under the umbrella of the Syrian Islamic Front and was a major component of the Islamic Front. With an estimated 20,000 fighters in 2015, Ahrar al-Sham became the largest rebel group in Syria after the Free Syrian Army became less powerful. Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam are the main rebel groups supported by Turkey. On 18 February 2018, Ahrar al-Sham merged with the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement to form the Syrian Liberation Front.

Jund al-Aqsa

Jund al-Aqsa

Jund al-Aqsa, later known as Liwa al-Aqsa after 7 February 2017, was a Salafist jihadist organization that was active during the Syrian Civil War. Formerly known as Sarayat al-Quds, the group was founded by Abu Abdul 'Aziz al-Qatari as a subunit within the al-Nusra Front. The group later became independent, because al-Nusra was growing too rapidly for its resources and had suffered from fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. On 20 September 2016 the U.S. Department of State designated Jund al-Aqsa as a terrorist organization. The group rejoined al-Nusra Front, by then renamed Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), in October 2016. However, on 23 January 2017, JFS declared that Jund Al-Aqsa was no longer part of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham. In early February 2017, some of Jund al-Aqsa's units joined the newly formed Tahrir al-Sham, while the others refused and formed a new splinter group called Liwa al-Aqsa, and captured many towns in northern Hama and southern Idlib from other rebel groups. Following these attacks, Tahrir al-Sham launched a military operation against Liwa al-Aqsa, accusing them of being an ISIL affiliate. Following intense clashes with Tahrir al-Sham, up to 2,100 Liwa al-Aqsa militants left Idlib Province to join ISIL in Raqqa Province, by 22 February 2017.

Demographics of Syria

Demographics of Syria

Syria's estimated pre–Syrian Civil War 2011 population was 22 ±.5 million permanent inhabitants, which included 21,124,000 Syrians, as well as 1.3 million Iraqi refugees and over 500,000 Palestinians refugees. The war makes an accurate count of the Syrian population difficult, as the numbers of Syrian refugees, internally displaced Syrians and casualty numbers are in flux. The CIA World Factbook showed an estimated 20.4m people as of July 2021. Of the pre-war population, six million are refugees outside the country, seven million are internally displaced, three million live in rebel-held territory, and two million live in the Kurdish-ruled Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.

Christianity in Syria

Christianity in Syria

Christians in Syria make up about 10% of the population. The country's largest Christian denomination is the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, closely followed by the Greek Catholic Church, one of the Eastern Catholic Churches, which has a common root with the Eastern Orthodox Church of Antioch, and then by Oriental Orthodox Churches like Syriac Orthodox Church and Armenian Apostolic Church. There are also a minority of Protestants and members of the Assyrian Church of the East and Chaldean Catholic Church. The city of Aleppo is believed to have the largest number of Christians in Syria. In the late Ottoman rule, a large percentage of Syrian Christians emigrated from Syria, especially after the bloody chain of events that targeted Christians in particular in 1840, the 1860 massacre, and the Assyrian genocide. According to historian Philip Hitti, approximately 900,000 Syrians arrived in the United States between 1899 and 1919. The Syrians referred include historical Syria or the Levant encompassing Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. Syrian Christians tend to be relatively wealthy and highly educated.

Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria

Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), also known as Rojava, is a de facto autonomous region in northeastern Syria. It consists of self-governing sub-regions in the areas of Afrin, Jazira, Euphrates, Raqqa, Tabqa, Manbij and Deir Ez-Zor. The region gained its de facto autonomy in 2012 in the context of the ongoing Rojava conflict and the wider Syrian Civil War, in which its official military force, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has taken part.

Syria

Syrian Democratic Forces

The following militias are part of the Syrian Democratic Forces of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.

Syriac Military Council

The Syriac Military Council (Syriac abbreviation: MFS) is largely composed of Assyrian and some Armenian Christians, with its headquarters in al-Malikiyah. Based in the Jazira Region, it is the main armed Christian militia in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.[7] The group is allied with the mainly-Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and has more than 2,000 members. In 2013, the militia confronted, with its allies, the al-Nusra Front in Tell Hamis, during the Al-Hasakah Governorate campaign (2012–2013), and finally regained the town during the Eastern al-Hasakah offensive in late February 2015. Later that year, the MSF defended the Christian villages of the Khabur valley from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant attacks. They were also involved in the 2105 Al-Hasakah city offensive, successfully capturing the town from the Islamic State, in conjunction with the YPG.[7][8][9] The group is armed mainly with light and some medium weapons, and some armoured vehicles, and has appealed to the West for heavier weapons. The West presently only sends weapons to other rebel groups, but has so far not offered any aid, with the militia sourcing most of its low-level weapons locally.[7][10] In October 2015, the Syriac Military Council was one of the founding components of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Bethnahrain Women's Protection Forces

The Bethnahrain Women's Protection Forces is a small female-only subunit of the MFS, the formation of which was influenced by the Women's Protection Units.[11]

Martyr Nubar Ozanyan Brigade

On April 24, 2019 the "Martyr Nubar Ozanyan Brigade" was formed as an Armenian brigade of the Syrian Democratic Forces on the anniversary of the Armenian genocide in the Marziya Church in Tell Goran.[12][13]

Khabour Guards

The Khabour Guards (Syriac: ܡܘܬܒܐ ܕܢܛܘܪ̈ܐ ܕܚܒܘܪ, romanizedMawtḇā d-Nāṭorē d-Ḥābor; Arabic: مجلس حرس الخابور الآشوري) is an Assyrian Syrian militia created after the collapse of Syrian government control in the Assyrian-majority Khabur valley northwest of al-Hasakah Governorate. The militia is composed of locals and maintains checkpoints in several Assyrian villages, most notably Tel Tamer. Though officially neutral and nonpartisan, the Khabour Guards are de facto affiliated with the Assyrian Democratic Party[14] along with Nattoreh.

Nattoreh

The Assyrian People's Guard – Nattoreh (Syriac: ܢܛܘܪ̈ܐ ܕܬܠ ܬܡܪ ܐܫܘܪܝܐ, romanizedNaṭore d'Tel Tamer Ashoraye; Arabic: اللجنه الشعبيه للحرس الأشوري) is an Assyrian Syrian militia based in the Khabur valley town of Tell Tamer northwest of Al-Hasakah, an area with a large Assyrian population. The militia is composed of local Assyrians and is along with the Khabour Guards affiliated with the Assyrian Democratic Party.[15][16][17]

Sutoro

Sutoro which is also known as the Syriac Security Office or the Sutoro Police, is an ethnic Assyrian, Syriac-Christian police force in Jazira Canton of the Federation of Northern Syria – Rojava in Syria, where it works in concert with the general Kurdish Asayish police force of the canton with the mission to police ethnic Assyrian areas and neighbourhoods. It is based around the city of Qamishli and has around 1,200 fighters, and arms checkpoints in Assyrian populated parts of cities, together with Assyrian towns and villages such as Tell Tamer.[18]

Regime

The following militias are part of the military of Syria, under the government of Syria.

Gozarto Protection Force

This is a largely Syriac-Assyrian militia based in Qamishli, in Syria's north-east. It is allied with the Syrian government, and fights in conjunction with the Syrian Army. It has been active in the defense of the majority Christian town of Sadad from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[19] The militia has 500 fighters.

Guardians of the Dawn

The Guardians of the Dawn are a coalition of Syrian Christian pro-government militias from southern Syria.[20]

Sootoro

The Sootoro is another Assyrian militia based only in the city of Qamishli, in North Eastern Syria. It is aligned with the Syrian regime, and has clashed not only with ISIL, but with the YPG and Sutoro, which it accuses of trying to appropriate Assyrian lands.[21]

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Syrian Democratic Forces

Syrian Democratic Forces

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is an armed militia of the rebels in North and East Syria (AANES). An alliance of forces formed during the Syrian civil war composed primarily of Kurdish, Arab, and Assyrian/Syriac, as well as some smaller Armenian, Turkmen and Chechen forces. It is militarily led by the People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia recognized as a terrorist group by turkey, and also includes several ethnic militias, as well as elements of the Syrian opposition's Free Syrian Army. Founded in October 2015, the SDF states its mission as fighting to create a secular, democratic and federalised Syria. According to Turkey, the Syrian Democratic Forces has direct links to the PKK.

Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria

Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), also known as Rojava, is a de facto autonomous region in northeastern Syria. It consists of self-governing sub-regions in the areas of Afrin, Jazira, Euphrates, Raqqa, Tabqa, Manbij and Deir Ez-Zor. The region gained its de facto autonomy in 2012 in the context of the ongoing Rojava conflict and the wider Syrian Civil War, in which its official military force, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has taken part.

Syriac Military Council

Syriac Military Council

The Syriac Military Council is an Assyrian/Syriac military organisation in Syria, part of the Syrian Democratic Forces. The establishment of the organisation was announced on 8 January 2013. According to the Syriac Military Council, the goal of the organisation is to stand up for the national rights of and to protect Assyrians in Syria. It operates mostly in the densely populated Assyrian areas of Al-Hasakah Governorate, and is affiliated to the Syriac Union Party.

Assyrian people

Assyrian people

Assyrians are an indigenous Middle-Eastern ethnic group native to Mesopotamia in West Asia. Modern Assyrians descend from their ancient counterparts, originating of the ancient indigenous Mesopotamians of Akkad and Sumer, who first developed the civilisation in northern Mesopotamia that would become Assyria in 2600 BCE. Assyrians have been speaking dialects of Suret, a Semitic language of the Neo-Aramaic branch, since approximately 1000 BCE. Modern Assyrians often culturally self-identify as Syriacs, Chaldeans, or Arameans for religious, geographic and tribal identification.

Armenians

Armenians

Armenians are an ethnic group native to the Armenian highlands of Western Asia. Armenians constitute the main population of Armenia and the de facto independent Artsakh. There is a wide-ranging diaspora of around five million people of full or partial Armenian ancestry living outside modern Armenia. The largest Armenian populations today exist in Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, Iran, Germany, Ukraine, Lebanon, Brazil, and Syria. With the exceptions of Iran and the former Soviet states, the present-day Armenian diaspora was formed mainly as a result of the Armenian genocide.

Al-Malikiyah

Al-Malikiyah

Al-Malikiyah also known as Derik, is a small Syrian city and the center of an administrative district belonging to Al-Hasakah Governorate. The district constitutes the northeastern corner of the country, and is where the Syrian Democratic Council convenes. The town is about 20 km (12 mi) west of the Tigris river which defines the triple border between Syria, Turkey and Iraq. According to the Syria Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Al-Malikiyah had a population about 26,311 residents in the 2004 census. It is the administrative center of a nahiyah ("subdistrict") consisting of 108 localities with a combined population of 125,000. The population enjoys demographic and ethnic diversity that is characteristic of most of Al-Hasakah Governorate. The town is inhabited by Kurds, Assyrians, Arabs and Armenians.

Jazira Region

Jazira Region

The Jazira Region, formerly Jazira Canton,, is the largest of the three original regions of the de facto Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES). As part of the ongoing Rojava conflict, its democratic autonomy was officially declared on 21 January 2014. The region is in the Al-Hasakah Governorate of Syria.

Al-Nusra Front

Al-Nusra Front

Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra, known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham after July 2016, and also described as al-Qaeda in Syria or al-Qaeda in the Levant, was a Salafist jihadist terrorist organization fighting against Syrian government forces in the Syrian Civil War. Its aim was to establish an Islamic state in the country. The group has changed its name several times and merged with and separated from other groups.

Eastern al-Hasakah offensive

Eastern al-Hasakah offensive

The Eastern al-Hasakah offensive was launched in the Al-Hasakah Governorate during the Syrian Civil War, by the Kurdish-majority People's Protection Units, Assyrian Christian militias, and allied Arab forces against the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, with the intent of retaking the areas of the Jazira Canton that had been captured by ISIL. Subsequently, the Syrian Armed Forces also launched an assault against the jihadists, without coordinating with the YPG.

Khabur (Euphrates)

Khabur (Euphrates)

The Khabur River is the largest perennial tributary to the Euphrates in Syria. Although the Khabur originates in Turkey, the karstic springs around Ras al-Ayn are the river's main source of water. Several important wadis join the Khabur north of Al-Hasakah, together creating what is known as the Khabur Triangle, or Upper Khabur area. From north to south, annual rainfall in the Khabur basin decreases from over 400 mm to less than 200 mm, making the river a vital water source for agriculture throughout history. The Khabur joins the Euphrates near the town of Busayrah.

Al-Hasakah city offensive

Al-Hasakah city offensive

The Al-Hasakah city offensive was launched during the Syrian Civil War by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant against the city of Al-Hasakah, which was held by both the Syrian Armed Forces and the Kurdish YPG.

Bethnahrain Women's Protection Forces

Bethnahrain Women's Protection Forces

The Bethnahrain Women's Protection Forces is an all-female Assyrian military and police organization based in al-Qahtaniyah, al-Hasakah Governorate, Syria.

Iraq

Nineveh Plain Protection Units

The Nineveh Plain Protection Units (Classical Syriac: ܚܕܝ̈ܘܬ ܣܬܪܐ ܕܫܛܚܐ ܕܢܝܢܘܐ Ḥḏāywāṯ Settārā da-Šṭāḥā d-Nīnwē) or NPU is an Assyrian military organization that was formed late in 2014, largely but not exclusively by Assyrians in Iraq to defend themselves against Islamic State.[22] The Nineveh Plains is a region where Assyrians in Iraq have traditionally been concentrated.[23] The Assyrian Security force Nineveh Plain Protection Units currently run the security in many Towns and Villages in the Nineveh Plains

The Assyrian Policy Institute reports that the NPU has 2,000 men registered to be trained awaiting approval and funding from the Federal government of Iraq and that they currently have 600 active soldiers deployed and running the security in towns such as Bakhdida, Karamlesh and partly in Bartella where the security is contested by PMF Brigade 30 or known as the Shabak Militia with the support of the Badr Organization leaving the NPU outnumbered[24]

The Nineveh Plain Guard Forces (NPGF)

The Nineveh Plain Guard Forces also known as Christian Peshmerga is composed of former members of the Church Guards that were forced to disband and disarm in 2014 as Kurdish officials began confiscating weapons that belonged to local Assyrians prior to the ISIS invasion that left the Assyrians defenceless.

It's estimated that they currently have 1,500 Assyrian soldiers under Peshmerga command[25]

Dwekh Nawsha

Dwekh Nawsha is an Assyrian Christian militia defending the Christian cities in the Nineveh province of Iraq.[26] A number of foreign Western Christian fighters have joined the militia in order aid in the effort.[2]

A report by the Assyrian Policy Institute released in June 2020 claimed that Dwekh Nawsha was eventually disbanded and that all of its social media accounts have been deleted.[27]

Nineveh Plain Forces

The Nineveh Plain Forces (Syriac: ܚܝ̈ܠܘܬܐ ܕܕܫܬܐ ܕܢܝܢܘܐ, romanizedḤaylawotho d'Deshto d'Ninwe) or NPF is a military organization that was formed on 6 January 2015 by indigenous Assyrian Christians in Iraq, in cooperation with Peshmerga,[28] to defend against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.[29]

A 2020 Report by the Assyrian Policy Institute claimed that the NPF was disbanded in 2017 following the unsuccessful Kurdistan Region independence referendum.[30]

Babylon Brigade

The Babylon Brigade nominally Christian militia that was formed as part of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces by Rayan al-Kildani, a Chaldean Catholic Assyrian with close ties to the Badr Organization,[31]

Kataib Rouh Allah Issa Ibn Miriam

Kataib Rouh Allah Issa Ibn Miriam (Arabic: كتائب روح الله عيسى بن مريم; lit. The Brigade of the Spirit of God Jesus Son of Mary) is a militia composed of Assyrian Christians trained and supplied by an Iraqi Shi'ite militia as a subgroup of the Kata'ib al-Imam Ali in the fight against ISIL.

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Nineveh Plain Protection Units

Nineveh Plain Protection Units

The Nineveh Plain Protection Units or NPU is an Assyrian military organization that was formed in late 2014, largely but not exclusively by Assyrians in Iraq to defend themselves against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The Nineveh Plains is a region where Assyrians in Iraq have traditionally been concentrated.

Assyrian people

Assyrian people

Assyrians are an indigenous Middle-Eastern ethnic group native to Mesopotamia in West Asia. Modern Assyrians descend from their ancient counterparts, originating of the ancient indigenous Mesopotamians of Akkad and Sumer, who first developed the civilisation in northern Mesopotamia that would become Assyria in 2600 BCE. Assyrians have been speaking dialects of Suret, a Semitic language of the Neo-Aramaic branch, since approximately 1000 BCE. Modern Assyrians often culturally self-identify as Syriacs, Chaldeans, or Arameans for religious, geographic and tribal identification.

Islamic State

Islamic State

The Islamic State (IS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and by its Arabic acronym Daesh, is a militant Islamist group and former unrecognized quasi-state that follows the Salafi jihadist branch of Sunni Islam. It was founded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 1999 and gained global prominence in 2014, when it drove Iraqi security forces out of key cities during the Anbar campaign, which was followed by its capture of Mosul and the Sinjar massacre.

Nineveh Plains

Nineveh Plains

Nineveh Plains is a region in Nineveh Governorate in Iraq, to the north and east of the city Mosul. Control over the region is contested between Iraqi security forces, KRG security forces, Assyrian security forces, Babylon Brigade and the Shabak Militia.

Assyrian Policy Institute

Assyrian Policy Institute

The Assyrian Policy Institute (API) is a non-governmental and nonprofit organization based in the United States that primarily advocates for the rights of Assyrians and other minorities in the Middle East including Yazidis and Mandaeans.

Federal government of Iraq

Federal government of Iraq

The federal government of Iraq is defined under the current Constitution, approved in 2005, as an Islamic, democratic, federal parliamentary republic. The federal government is composed of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as numerous independent commissions.

Karamlesh

Karamlesh

Karamlesh is an Assyrian town in northern Iraq located less than 18 miles (29 km) south east of Mosul.

Bartella

Bartella

Bartella is a town that is located in the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq, about 21 kilometres east of Mosul.

Badr Organization

Badr Organization

The Badr Organization, previously known as the Badr Brigades or Badr Corps, is an Iraqi Shia Islamist political party and military organization headed by Hadi Al-Amiri. The Badr Brigade was the Iran-officered military wing of the Iran-based Shia Islamic party, Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), formed in 1982. The Badr Brigade was created by Iranian intelligence and Shia cleric Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim with the aim of fighting Saddam Hussein's regime during the Iran–Iraq War. Since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq most of Badr's fighters have entered the new Iraqi army and police force. Politically, Badr Brigade and SCIRI were considered to be one party since 2003, but have now unofficially separated with the Badr Organization now an official Iraqi political party. Badr Brigade forces, and their Iranian commanders, have come to prominence in 2014 fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq. It is a part of the Popular Mobilization Forces.

Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council

Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council

The Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council, popularly known as Motwa, is a political party in Iraq, that was founded in 2007, on the initiative of Sarkis Aghajan, a high-ranking member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. As a party that represents minority communities, CSAPC participated in several elections, both on national, regional and local levels, mainly in various coalitions with other minority parties. The current president of the party is Shamsuddin Georgis Zaya.

Peshmerga

Peshmerga

The Peshmerga is the Kurdish military forces of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq. According to the Constitution of Iraq, the Peshmerga, along with their security subsidiaries, are responsible for the security of Kurdistan Region, due to the fact that the Iraqi Armed Forces are forbidden by Iraqi law to enter Iraqi Kurdistan. These subsidiaries include Asayish, Parastin u Zanyarî and the Zeravani (Gendarmerie). The history of Peshmerga dates back to 18th century, starting out as a strictly tribal pseudo-military border guard under the Ottomans and Safavids and later changing to a well-trained, disciplined guerrilla force in the 19th century.

Dwekh Nawsha

Dwekh Nawsha

The Dwekh Nawsha was a Christian military organization created in June 2014 in order to defend Iraq's Assyrian population from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and possibly retake their lands currently controlled by ISIL. The militia defends the Christian cities in the Nineveh province of the historical Assyria region.

Source: "Christian militias in Iraq and Syria", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_militias_in_Iraq_and_Syria.

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References
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  2. ^ a b Behn, Sharon (31 March 2016). "US Military Veterans Join Christian Militia in Anti-IS Fight". VOA. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Sajid Javid should not be allowed to criminalise the British heroes of Rojava | Observer letters". TheGuardian.com. 25 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Islamic State 'abducts dozens of Christians in Syria'". BBC News. 2015-02-24. Retrieved 2022-11-25.
  5. ^ "Kurds and Christians Fight Back against ISIS in Syria". National Review. 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2022-11-25.
  6. ^ Lund, Aron (2013-08-27). "The Non-State Militant Landscape in Syria". CTC Sentinel. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  7. ^ a b c Global Post "Christian militia fights its own battle against jihadists Syria" http://www.globalpost.com/article/6404438/2015/02/27/christian-militia-fights-its-own-battle-against-jihadists-syria
  8. ^ "Kurds and Christians Fight Back against ISIS in Syria". National Review. 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2022-11-25.
  9. ^ "Syrien: Christen lassen sich von IS nicht vertreiben - WELT". DIE WELT.
  10. ^ "Christian Militias Fighting Against Islamic State In Syria". Archived from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  11. ^ Bishop, Rachel. "female-fighters-form-fierce-Christian Militia" The Mirror 13 Dec 2015 https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/female-fighters-form-fierce-christian-7004827
  12. ^ ANF (24 April 2019). "Nubar Ozanyan Armenian Brigade declared". ANF News. Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Armenians form brigade in Northern and Eastern Syria". ANF News. Retrieved 2022-11-25.
  14. ^ Rashid (2018), p. 37.
  15. ^ Rashid (2018), p. 36.
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  19. ^ "Russia transporting militia groups fighting Islamic State to frontlines in Syria". www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2022-11-25.
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  21. ^ Al Tamimi, Aymenn J (24 March 2014). "Assad regime lacks the total support of Syria's Christians". The National. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  22. ^ John Burger for Aletia. December 4, 2014 Christians in Iraq Forming Militia to Defend, and Possibly Retake, Ancestral Lands
  23. ^ Steven Nelson for U.S. News & World Report. Feb. 6, 2015 Iraqi Assyrian Christians Form Anti-ISIS Militia, and You Can Legally Chip In
  24. ^ Hanna, Reine (June 1, 2020). "Contested Control: The Future of Security in Iraq's Nineveh Plain" (PDF). Assyrian Policy Institute.
  25. ^ Contested Control: The Future of Security in Iraq's Nineveh Plain
  26. ^ "Westerners join Iraqi Christian militia to 'crusade'". World Bulletin. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  27. ^ Hanna, Reine (June 1, 2020). "Contested Control: The Future of Security in Iraq's Nineveh Plain" (PDF). Assyrian Policy Institute. p. 39. Retrieved August 2, 2020. The force was ultimately disbanded, and official social media accounts for the Dwekh Nawsha have since been disabled. The force was disbanded soon after.
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  30. ^ Hanna, Reine (June 1, 2020). "Contested Control: The Future of Security in Iraq's Nineveh Plain" (PDF). Assyrian Policy Institute. p. 38. Retrieved August 2, 2020. The NPF’s stated goals were similar to those of the Nineveh Plains Protection Units; the key difference being that the NPF and the BNDP advocated for a Nineveh Plain Governorate administered by the KRG. BNDP leader Romeo Hakkari has been a vocal proponent for Kurdish independence. But following the failed referendum the NPF was stripped of its security responsibilities. The last official update on its social media accounts is dated September 2, 2017. The force was disbanded soon after.
  31. ^ "A Mostly Non-Christian Militia Won 2 Of Iraqi Christians' Parliamentary Seats". HuffPost. 23 May 2018. Retrieved 30 Aug 2019.

Works cited

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