The Yazidi and Christian minorities in Iraq distrust the Iraqi federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The unexpected step by Christians made everyone equipped with arms.
Since early this year, Christians who were displaced from Ninevah to the Kurdish areas have formed militias in affiliation with the KRG's Ministry of Peshmerga and state-sponsored Popular Mobilization Units.
Iraqi Christian Zafer Nouh, editor of Al-Fikr al-Masihi magazine, told Al-Monitor, "Our regions in the Ninevah Plains are considered part of the disputed lands between the federal government and the KRG. The Kurds see them as Kurdish regions that have to be annexed onto the KRG map, while the federal government believes they are under its administrative control, even if they are practically under Kurdish influence."
By forming armed groups, Christians could be seeking to create a special status and participate in the conflict raging between the two major groups over the division of Iraq.
In this regard, Yaacoub Korkees, an Assyrian member of the Iraqi Parliament, said in May, "If they want to divide this country into Sunni, Kurdish and Shiite states, then we will call for a fourth state, that is a Christian state."