May 13, 2013, National Geographic Newswatch
Near the point where Turkey, Iraq, and Syria meet, two villages face each other across the Tigris River.
On one side lies the Iraqi Kurdish village of Faysh Khabur, home to a Chaldean Christian community for more than fourteen centuries. Atop a 7th-century underground church, the community’s “new” church was built in 1861.
On the other bank of the Tigris sits Khanik Village, another ancient Chaldean community — but one that lies in Syria. Syria’s Kurds have maintained a de facto autonomous territory in northeast Syria for the past year, since Assad’s forces abandoned the area last summer.