ISIS Genocide of Assyrian Chaldean Christians

Assyrian Chaldean Christians executed by ISIS, September 23, 2015

Source:  ISIS Video screen shot courtesy

This week graphic evidence emerged of ISIS’ genocide and subjugation of Christian communities in the great swath of territory in Syria and Iraq  conquered by the self-declared Salafist Sunni Islamic State.  The Middle East has been thrown into turmoil by the recent entry of Russian military forces attacking opposition to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the bloody four year civil war that has killed over 250,000 civilians. That conflict gave rise to the Islamic State, a throw back to the barbaric jihad perpetrated by the founder of Islam, Mohammed and his five companions.

 MEMRI released today an ISIS video  containing a threat to Christians in Qaryatayn, Syria to “Pay Jizya-Or You will be executed and your Wives Enslaved.”  Nina Shea, director of the Washington, DC-based Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom  published today on the National Review On-line another graphic bloody ISIS spectacle. This  was  directed at  the ethnic cleansing of the ancient Chaldean Christian community with the execution of three men, “ISIS and Religious Genocide in the Mideast”.

Note these excerpts from Shea’s compelling piece:

Yesterday, we learned that three Christians captured from Assyrian villages in Syria last February were executed by ISIS on September 23, 2015  in a desert area, somewhere in the “Caliphate,” and that possibly hundreds of other murders will follow. After the jihadist’ demands for $10 million in ransom money were not met, the three Christian men were murdered with a single shot to the back of each head as they were lined up, on their knees, garbed in orange jumpsuits. In its video of this execution, ISIS threatens to kill the 202 remaining Christian hostages from the February raid. It is probably not a coincidence that September 23rd  was the Muslim commemoration of the “Feast of Sacrifice” (Eid al-Adha).

In the video, which was broadcast on Lebanese television on Wednesday, each victim first identifies himself as an Assyrian Christian, and then states his name, year of birth, and home village: “I am Assyrian Christian Ashur Abraham, from the village of Tel Tamar, Jazira.” “I am Assyrian Christian Basam Essa Michael, born in 1976, from the village of Tel Shamiram, Tel Tamar.” “I am Assyrian Christian Abdulmasih Enwiya, born in 1997, from the village of Jazira district of Tel Tamar.” Three militants in black masks then appear behind the kneeling Christians and raise their guns to administer the point-blank shots. The Christians tumble forward, dead.

The video next shows three other Christian men on their knees behind the bodies of the three just killed. The new group of prisoners repeats the pattern, first stating their ethnic and religious identities and then their names and home villages. “I am Assyrian Christian Zaya George Elia, born in 1988, from the village of Shameran District of Tel Tamar.” “I am Assyrian Christian William Youhana Melham District of Tel Tamar, village of Tel Shameran, born in 1964.” “I am Assyrian Christian Marden Tamraz, born in 1966, village of Tel Jazira.” The last to speak points to the three bodies before them and states, “We are here and there are dozens of us. Our fate is the same as these. If you do not take proper procedure for our release, we realize the inevitable fate.”

These victims were from the string of 35 Assyrian Christian villages along the strategic Khabour river valley in Hassake. ISIS militants, in a convoy of 40 pickup trucks, ISIS’s trademark vehicles, captured this undefended area between its strongholds of Raqqa and Mosul after being flushed out of nearby Kobani last winter. Kobani was a highly touted Coalition victory against ISIS. Perhaps the doctoring of military assessments at CentCom explains why less is said about the linked strategic failure in the Khabour river valley. No American airstrikes against the offensive there were made until after the villages had been taken and over 200 of their residents kidnapped, and then only after a campaign was launched by Christian activists.


This is genocide and we are morally and legally bound to help them. A military resolution to this crisis will be too late for these peoples. Catholic priest Father Douglas Bazi, the director of the renowned Mar Elias refugee encampment for Iraqi Christians in Erbil, tells me: “Help us live. Help us leave.” They need visas. The West can easily provide them, and it must.

 In the wake of the Syrian refugee and illegal migrant flood of Europe, the Administration has raised the allotments for humanitarian refugees for both 2016 and 2017 to 85,000 and 100,000 persons with priority preferences for Syrians fleeing from detention camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. However, there is little to no mention of preferences to rescue Middle East Christians and other ancient religious minorities targeted by ISIS for genocide. 

That will be the subject of a segment in Sunday’s Lisa Benson Show on October 11, 2014. You will hear about the threats and compelling need for rescue of Chaldean Christians through the State Department P2/P3 Family Reunification Program by veteran community leader Joseph T. Kassab, of the Iraqi Christians Advocacy and Empowerment Institute (ICAE).  

Joseph T. Kattab of ICAE

Mr. Kassab, a native of the Nineveh Plains of Iraq, came to the US in 1980 as a refugee from the tyranny of the Saddam Hussein regime following completion of his education at the University of Baghdad and its Medical School under the Auspices of the Royal College of Medicine in the UK. After completing additional graduate studies at Wayne State University in Michigan, he established a professional career in micro-biology.  He also emerged as a vigorous advocate for rescue of his fellow Chaldean Christians before Congress, and at both domestic and international conferences. He is the President and Founder of ICAE.  He has appeared on both radio and TV interview programs on the threats and rescue of Chaldeans. Most significantly, he has facilitated the rescue of  more than 25,000 of his co-religionists from camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

The Lisa Benson Show will air Sunday, October 11 at 4PM EDT, 3PM CDT, 2PM MDT, 1PM PDT and 11PM in IsraelListen live to the Lisa Benson Radio Show for National Security on KKNT 960The Patriot or use SMARTPHONE iHEART App: 960 the Patriot.   Lisa Benson and New English Review Senior Editor Jerry Gordon will co-host this show.