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Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
Topic - Tal Afar
According an Italian Catholic new organization, Pope Francis made a phone call to Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan over the weekend to reassure him of his continued prayers for Iraqi Christians.
In his weekly Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis mourned the fleeing of the last Christians from the Iraqi city of Mosul, who were told by ISIS forces last week to either convert, pay the Jizya tax or leave.
Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako of Iraq has written a letter urging government officials to "waste no more time" in electing new leaders, and lamented the grim possibility of finding a peaceful solution to conflict.
Images posted online show that Islamic extremists have destroyed at least 10 ancient shrines and Shiite mosques in territory they have seized in northern Iraq in recent weeks.
Sunni militants captured a strategic northern Iraqi city along the highway to Syria on Monday, sending thousands of residents from an ethnic minority fleeing for safety and moving closer to their goal of linking areas under their control on both sides of the border.
Black flies hummed around stall 58 at Wagner Range. Fort Benning's pine trees shimmered in the distance as the late-morning temperature pushed 95 degrees with the promise of more from the Georgia summer.
Military officials in Baghdad say Iraqi insurgents have had limited success in stepped up attacks since the U.S.-led efforts to stabilize the Iraqi capital.
"All of them left because there is fear," he said. "All of the Christians are leaving. Families left for Nineveh by foot. There is no car, no money. Many people right now are afraid, afraid of this future."
"It is thanks to this patient hope of God that the same weed, which is the evil heart with many sins, in the end can become wheat," he said, "But be attentive: evangelical patience is not an indifference to evil; we cannot confuse good and evil!"