Islamic State militants have kidnapped at least 90 people after sweeping through Christian villages in Syria, it has been revealed. The abductions are said to have taken place after ISIS seized two Assyrian communities from Kurdish forces in the northeast province of Hassakeh.
Dawn raids on Monday are said to have spread ‘panic’ in the villages, inhabited by the ancient Christian minority along the banks of the Khabur River near the town of Tel Hmar. Most of the captives are said to have come from the village of Tal Shamiram, located 50 miles miles southwest of the Hassakeh provincial capital of Qamishli, with others taken from Tal Hermuz. The sources confirmed that they heard via wireless devices IS members saying that they detained “56 crusaders”. Meanwhile, information reported that dozens of Assyrian people were kidnapped from the village of Tal Hermez.
The kidnappings were revealed by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The latest offensive coincides with a push by Syrian Kurds in the northeast near the Iraqi border since Sunday that had compounded losses for the militant group in Syria. Sources are reported to have told the human rights watchdog that jihadists swooped to abduct dozens of civilians from the village of Tal Shamiram.
IS has destroyed churches and Christian shrines in Syria, and demanded that Christians living under its rule pay a tax known as jizya.
Cross- cutting sources also confirmed that most of IS militants who launched the attack come from the countryside of al- Hasakah and some of them are Caucasian.