Many fled to Iraqi Kurdistan, others to Hamdaniya, a predominately Christian town southeast of Mosul protected by Kurdish forces. One 60-year-old woman had this to say about leaving:
"We have lived in this city and we have had a civilisation for thousands of years - and suddenly some strangers came and expelled us from our homes."
Another man spoke about being robbed:
"The Islamic State stopped my relatives at a checkpoint when they were fleeing and when they found out they were Christians, they took everything they were carrying, including their mobile phones. They left them only with the clothes they were wearing."But the Christians aren't the only ones ISIL has targeted, the Sunni radicals have forced Kurdish Yazidis, and Turkmen and Shabak Shi'ites to flee as well. Those they haven't captured or killed.
And that area was once considered the "cradle of civilization."
More on what they have endured.
Sources: Reuters,, HRW,