A HOLY WAR? Islamic State Continues to Abduct Syrian Christians

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Though our White House doesn’t want this fight between the Islamic State, and what seems like the rest of the world, to turn into a ‘holy war’, the Islamic State seems to be making it just that. Most of the Christians abducted were women, children and the elderly.

There are fears that more members of an Assyrian Christian community in north-eastern Syria were abducted by Islamic State militants than at first thought.

Sources in the community said as many as 200 people might have been seized on Monday in raids on a string of villages near Tal Tamr, in Hassakeh province.

Most of the captives were women, children and the elderly.

Some 1,000 local Assyrian families are believed to have fled their homes in the wake of the abductions.

Kurdish and Christian militia are battling IS in the area.

Kurdish offensive

At least 90 Assyrians were seized by the militants on Monday as they captured 12 villages along the southern bank of the Khabur river before dawn, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based opposition group that monitors the conflict in the country.

The Syriac National Council of Syria put the figure as high as 150, while Afram Yaboub of the Assyrian Federation of Sweden said sources on the ground had told him that at least 60 and up to 200 people were missing.

However, a spokesman for the Syriac Military Council, a Christian militia fighting alongside the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG), told the BBC that between 350 and 400 civilians had been taken, and that some had already been killed.

Kino Gabriel said that the Syriac Military Council believed the captives had been taken to Abdul Aziz mountain but it was not sure about their exact location.

Osama Edward of the Sweden-based Assyrian Human Rights Network told the AFP news agency that the captives had been taken to the IS stronghold of Shaddadi, as did Syria’s state news agency, Sana.

Read more: BBC News

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