Escalating violence in northern and central Iraq has caused devastation and mass displacement of 1.2 million people since January. Fear looms as the Islamic State of Iraq and greater Syria (ISIS) has taken control of large swaths of the Ninewa, Salah Al-Din and Diyala provinces.
(This article is re-posted from CRS website detailing unfolding emergencies throughout the world. Please visit http://emergencies.crs.org/ for more information on Iraq, Gaza, Africa and other areas.)
Religious minorities, including Christians, Shia Muslims and Turkmen, have been singled out for attack. On July 18, ISIS issued threats directly to Christians in Mosul, resulting in the sudden flight of the remaining 500 Christian families to safer areas of Ninewa.
The journey is not without danger: Families are stripped of all possessions at ISIS checkpoints. Many are living in empty houses, schools, clinics, church compounds and abandoned buildings, with living conditions deteriorating.