Nearly 1,000 Assyrian families in northeastern Syria have run for their lives in the wake of the abduction of at least 150 members of the community by the ISIL Takfiri terrorists.
Osama Edward, director of the Sweden-based Assyrian Human Rights Network, said on Wednesday that the recent kidnapping in Hasakah Province has forced the Christians from their homes over the threat of ISIL.
“Since Monday (February 23), 800 families have taken refuge in the city of Hasakah and another 150 in Qamishli,” Edward said, adding that “between 70 and 100 people, mainly women, children and the elderly” have been kidnapped in the village of Tel Shamiram.
According to a Syrian Christian group that represents a number of nongovernmental organizations inside and outside the country, ISIL abducted at least 150 people from Assyrian Christian villages during Monday dawn raids on villages that are home to the ancient Christian minority west of the provincial capital, Hasakah. It said the Assyrian Christians were taken from villages near Tel Tamr, a town located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) to the northwest of Hasakah.
Meanwhile, Edward also stated that ISIL “broke into houses at around 4:00 a.m. local time (0200 GMT) on Monday while everyone was asleep,” adding that the terrorists have taken control of at least a dozen villages in the province.
He said the hostages have been taken to the militant-held city of Shaddadi.
Over the past months, Assyrians, who come from one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, have been under increasing threat by the ISIL terrorists.
The ISIL militants, with members from several Western countries, control some parts of Syria and Iraq, and have been carrying out horrific acts of violence such as public decapitations and crucifixions against all communities.