The Christians of Syria’s Khabur valley thought their suffering had ended with the crushing of Islamic State, but they were wrong. Three years after the caliphate was extinguished, they are being bombed again.
The 32 dusty Christian villages on the banks of the palm-fringed river lie deserted, apart from a few middle-aged men with old-model Kalashnikovs. Their homes bear the tell-tale signs of artillery shelling, holed but still standing. The churches are locked, the priests gone, the streets empty.