AINKAWA, Iraq — An estimated 10,000 Christians have been displaced from the Nineveh plains to Iraqi Kurdistan during the past few days as a result of raids by the Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), surrounding the majority-Christian Hamdaniyah district. Al-Monitor has confirmed that shelters for displaced persons have been opened in the town of Ainkawa, in Erbil province.
Tamara Jirjees, who fled ISIS attacks with her four children, told Al-Monitor: “We heard the thud of strong blasts that shook our region, and my kids broke out in tears and cries of fear. We took our things and escaped to the Iraqi Kurdistan region.” She further stated, “We reached the checkpoint in Erbil in the evening, and many people were fleeing. It took us a long time to enter the province. The Kurdistan Regional Government opened schools to shelter us and offered us food and water. A representative of the church also visited us and helped us.”