Hundreds of displaced Iraqi Christians danced and sang yesterday to celebrate an Iraqi military operation to retake their community's main hub of Qaraqosh from jihadists, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (October 19, 2016).
Iraqi Christian men, women, and children -- some of them holding candles -- gathered at Mar Shimon Church in the Kurdish capital of Arbil to pray and celebrate.
Iraqi federal forces yesterday moved deep into Qaraqosh, a town that lies around 10 miles southeast of Mosul -- Iraq's second largest city -- that was seized by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadist group in August 2014.
"Today is a happy moment. There is no doubt our land will be liberated and we thank God, Jesus Christ, and the Virgin Mary," said Hazem Djedjou Cardomi, a journalist among the crowd.