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Syrian Christians on front line have sad Christmas, again

Turkey's Operation Peace Spring has made life ever more difficult for Syrian Christians, some of whom decided not to celebrate Christmas.
Sarkoun Selio, a 50-year-old Assyrian Christian Syrian and one of the few Assyrians still living there, walks in the ruins of the Assyrian Church of the Virgin Mary, which was previously destroyed by Islamic State (IS) group fighters, in the village of Tal Nasri south of the town of Tal Tamr in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province on November 15, 2019. - The few Assyrian Christians who escaped the Islamic State group invasion in 2015, and did not choose to emigrate, now anxiously watch the advance of Turki

KHABUR VALLEY, Syria — A Kalashnikov rifle slung over his shoulder, 21-year-old Ninos Akhtiar jumped into the back of a Toyota pickup truck with three other fighters from a Christian Assyrian militia. The vehicle drove through the northeastern Syrian town of Tal Tamr, bathed in a soft golden light.

As dusk approached, the surrounding countryside looked peaceful — but appearances are deceiving. The fields have become a no-man's-land and the Khabur River, a front line. 

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