According to World Watch Monitor, sources from Syria’s embattled Hassaka province confirmed Tuesday that at least 72 Assyrian Christian families – thought to be around 200 people – from three villages have been captured by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS).
Reportedly taken to the Arab Sunni village of Um Al-Masamier, the exact number of Christian hostages from the Tel Gouran, Tel Jazira and Tel Hormizd villages remains unknown.
An additional 50 or more families are still under siege in Tel Shamiram village, surrounded by IS fighters. On Monday Kurdish fighters from Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD) took back control of Toma Yelda, an important hill on the battlefront. However, the military struggle for Tel Shamiram is continuing.
According to Archbishop Mar Aprem Nathniel, the Bishop of Syria of the Assyrian Church of the East, only 200 Christian families remain in the Khabour region, more than 100 in Tel Tamar and the others in villages not yet taken over by IS.
He estimates 1,000 families who have fled from Khabour are now displaced in the cities of Hassaka to the south and Qamishli close to the Turkish border.
Open Doors USA President/CEO David Curry told Mission Network News (MNN) today that “I think that these Christians are going to be used as an example or certainly held perhaps for ransom. I’m guessing that it’s going to be a very difficult situation.”
For Curry’s complete interview with MNN, go to https://www.mnnonline.org/news/isis-takes-christians-hostage-in-syria/.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.