Khanke – On Wednesday morning, Islamic State terrorists conducted a suprise attack on the Christian town of Telskuf  in the autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq. Telskuf, which is a few kilomotres north of the IS stronghold Mosul, is controlled by Peshmerga and Assyrian-Christian NPU forces. The terrorists temporarily managed to exploit the moment of suprise and capture parts of the town.

Their advance caused panic among the surrounding Ezidi villages. From Khatara, Dokhata and Srechk – some of which are only a few minutes walk away from the scene – hundreds of Ezidis started to flee to the north. The region, often referred as Sheikhan region, is the second largest Ezidi settlement area after Shingal. Fear of an IS advance also spread to the refugee camps. There was, however, no concrete danger according to military officials. Shortly after the attacks on Telskuf, US warplanes targeted IS positions, a NPU commander told Reuters. Moreover, amateur footage captured combat helicopters which apparently were also engaged in Telskuf. Additional Peshmerga units were later deployed to the region.

The Ezidis, however, did not feel reassured. In an interview with the Kurdish news channel NRT, an Ezidi woman said they would not want to experience “the same as in Shingal”, adding that before falling into the hands of IS, one would rather prefer to flee. An Ezidi mother commented on the incident and said Ezidis had learned to “count on their feet only”, in allusion to the events in Shingal.

The situation in Telskuf was stable again, military officials announced yesterday. Nevertheless, clashes continue to erupt as IS is increasingly using suicide bombers. Clashes also erupted along the Bashiqa frontline where dozens of IS terrorists have been reportedly killed.