ISIS Kidnaps Over 200 Assyrian Christians, Burns Churches

Islamic State
Islamic State

Christianity is now the primary target for ISIS, as the terrorist outfit believes that it’s largely a fight between Christian crusaders and Muslims belonging to Islam.

By Rakesh Raman

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants have kidnapped over 200 Assyrian Christians from different parts of Syria.

The number of Assyrian civilians who were kidnapped by the ISIS during the past 3 days from 11 villages in Tal Tamir countryside in al-Hasakah has gone up to 220, said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) today.

According to the information received by SOHR, the ISIS led the hostages to Abd al-Aziz mount southwest of Tal Tamir, where the terrorist organization controls 10 Assyrian villages.

Assyrian sources also reported to SOHR that negotiations are taking place through mediators from Arabian tribes and an Assyrian figure to get the hostages released. Meanwhile, SOHR also said that ISIS has burned 2 churches in Tal Tamir countryside.

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A White House statement released Wednesday said that the United States strongly condemns ISIL’s recent attacks on Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria, including the burning of homes and churches.

Christianity is now the primary target for ISIS, as the terrorist outfit believes that it’s largely a fight between Christian crusaders and Muslims belonging to Islam. Recently, an ISIS video showed mass beheading of 21 Christians kidnapped in Libya.

However, the U.S., which is leading the coalition forces to attack ISIS, maintains that its fight is not against Islam.

“We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam,” said the U.S. President Barack Obama, who was addressing a White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.

[ President Obama: We Are Not at War with Islam ]

SOHR had reported Monday that ISIS has kidnapped at least 56 Assyrian citizens in the village of Tal Shamiram located around the town of Tal Tamer in the countryside of al-Hasakah.

Of late, ISIS also has changed its strategy from killing one hostage at a time to mass murders. For example, the Libyan branch of ISIS carried out mass beheading of 21 Christians kidnapped in Libya.

And a new video has claimed that ISIS has caught over 20 Peshmerga soldiers in cages and paraded them through the streets of Iraq. Peshmerga fighters belong to the military forces of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The fate of the kidnapped Assyrians is not yet clear.

By Rakesh Raman, the managing editor of RMN Company

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This article is part of our editorial section Wars and Conflicts that carries related news and views from all parts of the world.

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