Christians from 35 Syrian villages taken hostage

17-yr-old killed by ISIS, says archimandrite

24 February, 17:21

    Fighters from the Islamic State in front of a burnt church Fighters from the Islamic State in front of a burnt church

    (by Manuela Tulli) (ANSAmed) - ROME - Christians from 35 villages in northeastern Syria were taken hostage by the Islamic State (ISIS) on Monday and Tuesday in the Hasaka region.

    It is thought that they may have been taken for the purpose of ransom or to be used in a prisoner exchange. The Syrian Church has denounced an ''abandonment'' of the community by those who could have intervened but did not. A 17-year-old named Milad was killed and several churches set on fire during the attack. The villages include Tal Hermez, Tal Shamiram, Tal Riman, Tal Nasra, Al-Agibash, Toma Yalda and Al-Haooz in the area of the Khabour river. Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana has told the Catholic association 'Aid to the Church in Need' that the jihadists had chosen to focus on the area after being defeated in Kobane by the Democratic Union Kurdish Party (PYD).

    The battle began on Monday and the fighters were able to penetrate into the first two villages, taking dozens hostage. ''Fortunately, about 600 families managed to escape towards Qamishli,'' said Youkhana, ''but we are concerned about those taken hostage. We know ISIS's barbaric methods well. What is most important, now, is that these people be freed as soon as possible.'' Monsignor Jacques Behnan Hindo, Catholic archbishop of Hasaka-Nisibi, said that US fighter planes had flown over the area in recent days but that they had not intervened, and that some 100 Assyrian families have sought refuge in Hasaka without receiving aid from either the Red Crescent or Syrian government aid agencies.

    Hindo added that the UNHCR was also not providing aid to the people. The Khabour river area includes 35 Christian villages. The inhabitants are Assyrians whose families had fled the 1933 Simele massacre in Iraq committed by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Iraq. Some 3,000 people are thought to have been killed within a few days in August of that year, and the others fled into Syria. Many of the families still hope to one day return to Iraq, as they consider it their homeland. (ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean