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Exclusive Video: Iraqi Christians Take On Islamic State
Courtesy of SOLI

Exclusive Video: Iraqi Christians Take On Islamic State

Iraqui Assyrian Christian forces were tested for the first time in battle against the Islamic State in May. They won.

By Matthew VanDyke of Sons of Liberty International, for TheBlaze

Islamic State has been involved in or inspired a number of truly horrific attacks outside of Iraq in the past two months (Orlando, Dhaka, Istanbul, and Nice).

But their most brazen attack was on the front lines in Iraq.

And we were there.

Video of Sons of Liberty International (SOLI) and Iraqi Assyrian Christian soldiers during the battle against ISIS in Teleskof, Iraq. On May 3, 2016 Islamic State attacked the town of Teleskof, Iraq where Sons of Liberty International (SOLI) has been providing free training to Iraqi Assyrian Christians.

Hundreds of Islamic State fighters launched a surprise attack shortly after dawn, using pickup trucks and an armored Humvee, heavy weapons, and suicide bombers to overrun Teleskof.

Initially they were successful, forcing the defending Peshmerga, Iraqi Assyrian Christians, and Sons of Liberty out of Teleskof.

My team and I barely made it out alive, having awoken to the sound of explosions and gunfire just before 6 a.m. We had very little time to grab our weapons, ammo, armor, and a camera, and get in the truck as other forces were withdrawing from the town.

We were forced to withdraw under fire, taking with us a few of the Iraqi Assyrian Christians we had been training. There was heavy gunfire as Islamic State took control of the town, and a bullet hit the truck just inches from the head of one of our trainers as we withdrew.

We spent the next 10 hours helping Peshmerga, Assyrian Christian forces, and a team of U.S. Navy SEALs in the fight to retake the town. Tragically, Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV was killed during the battle - and that's probably the only thing you've read to date about this event.

We had very little battery power in our camera, but we still managed to capture video so our supporters and the public could see the war beyond the headlines.

As you can see in the video, sometimes the bullets hit very close. In this photo there is a bullet hole in the back of SOLI's truck. The bullet hit just inches above the head of a SOLI trainer. Courtesy of SOLI

As you can see in the video, sometimes the bullets hit very close. In this photo there is a bullet hole in the back of SOLI's truck. The bullet hit just inches above the head of a SOLI trainer. This was the first time the Iraqi Christian forces in northern Iraq were tested in combat during the war against Islamic State.

The Nineveh Plain Forces (NPF), which SOLI has been training for free in Teleskof since early 2016, were deployed to the front line south of Teleskof and engaged in combat with the terrorists from that position.

The Nineveh Plain Protection Units (NPU), who were first trained for free by SOLI in 2014, had three wounded during the battle - all three later recovered from their injuries and returned to duty.

Meeting with the commander of the Nineveh Plain Protection Units during the battle. The Iraqi Assyrian Christian forces that SOLI has been training used what they have learned from us and proved that they are a valuable asset on the battlefield.

It is clear that if provided with heavier weapons and support, Iraqi Christians have the potential to be among the best forces in the fight against Islamic State.

Despite U.S. and coalition efforts so far, Islamic State is still a very capable enemy both abroad and on the front lines in Iraq and Syria. The front line in Nineveh, the Christian region of Iraq, has been increasingly active in June and July.

Since the battle, the NPF has been provided with some additional weapons by the Peshmerga and are deployed to the front line in defense of the towns of Bakufa and Teleskof. Both the NPF and the NPU continue to play a critical role in the defense of the Nineveh Plain, and will be an important part of the offensive against Islamic State in the coming months. We look forward to their success and to keeping you informed.

Courtesy of SOLI

This battle was a real test for SOLI's model of using contributions and crowdfunding to provide free training, supplies, and services to threatened communities like the Iraqi Assyrian Christians.

We will continue to train and support these forces so they can effectively protect their homeland and destroy Islamic State.

SOLI is very thankful to the thousands of contributors, many of them Glenn Beck fans and TheBlaze subscribers, who make our work possible. You can see more of what SOLI does and find out the many ways you can support our work and our free training for Christian forces at our website www.sonsoflibertyinternational.com.

SOLI's efforts to help Iraqi Christians in the fight against ISIS rely entirely on financial contributions from readers like you. Please visit www.SonsOfLibertyInternational.com to learn how you can help and be part of changing the course of history.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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