QARAQOSH, Iraq — With their strict and ruthless interpretation of Islamic Shariah law, many Iraqis fear a takeover by the Sunni extremist group now known as the Islamic State.
But in the city of Qaraqosh, residents have an added reason to fear. Most are Christian — infidels, as far as the Islamic State is concerned. This city is home to a large part of the shrinking Christian minority in Iraq, and sits just a few miles from the front lines of what appears to be the beginning of a sectarian war.
Last month, the Islamic State attacked Qaraqosh. Almost everyone fled. Now that Kurdish forces and Christian volunteers have secured the city, familes have begun to return. But with militants still camped on their doorstep, they face an uncertain future.