London Independent 
August 7, 2014
Christians in Iraq are being forced to flee their homes as Islamic State militants continued their seemingly unstoppable advance across the country.
In an offensive that has seen Isis strengthen their foothold near the Kurdish region, residents of Qaraqosh, Iraq’s biggest Christian town, are now threatened with the demands the Sunni militants have made in other captured areas – leave, convert to Islam or face death.
The militant group said in a statement on its Twitter account that its fighters had seized 17 towns and targets, the strategic Mosul dam on the Tigris River and a military base in an offensive that began at the weekend and would continue.
However, two witnesses told Reuters news agency that Islamic State fighters had hoisted the group’s black flag over the dam, which could allow the militants to flood major cities or cut off significant water supplies and electricity, and local residents told reporters that the Kurdish forces had been forced out of the area.
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