An Iraqi Yazidi refugee woman boils water to wash clothes at the municipality-run camp for refugees and migrants of Kara Tepe on the island of Lesbos, Greece October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
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Behnam Abboush won't feel any safer if Iraqi forces drive Daesh (ISIS) out of their stronghold of Mosul.Ancient minorities have always been an integral part of Iraq's complex social fabric.Abboush's experiences illustrate why so many of the minorities – which range from the Christians and Yazidis to Turkmen and the Shabak people – have so little faith in the regional and central governments.Many of the Karakosh's 55,000 people managed to escape before the militants arrived a few hours later, but Abboush said the abrupt departure of the peshmerga troops controlled by the Kurdish regional government showed how communities have to defend themselves.Others say the drive for Mosul will benefit Iraqis of all communities.Khisro Goran, a Kurdish member of Iraq's parliament, said lightly armed peshmerga forces withdrew from Karakosh in 2014 because they were unprepared for the Daesh onslaught. As a Christian, he fought alongside the peshmerga for five years against Al-Qaeda, but is no longer among the Kurdish ranks.Some of the worshipers are Christians who fled to Irbil from villages, towns and cities under Daesh.
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