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20-20

An American husband and wife team helped more than 100 Iraqi Christian refugees escape ISIS terror threats in their homeland and flee to Europe.

Joseph and Michele Assad, former U.S. counter-terrorism officers, helped arrange for 25 families, 149 refugees in all including 62 children, to board a privately-chartered plane in the Kurdistan region of Iraq on Dec. 10, and land in Kosice, Slovakia, where they will be granted asylum within a month.

“We are so proud of Slovakia,” Michele Assad told ABC News “20/20.” “They were very courageous to make this decision and it wasn’t an easy one to make, yet they did. … We hope other countries will have similar courage.”

ABC News’ “20/20” followed the refugees throughout their journey, from a church providing them shelter in Iraq to starting a new life in Slovakia.

Tonight on “20/20,” Elizabeth Vargas reports on how two Americans helped more than 100 Iraqi Christian refugees escape ISIS. Tune in Friday, Dec. 18, at 10 p.m. ET to watch the full story.

 

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