September 24, 2020

ISIS militants kidnap more than 70 Christians in Syria

0
0



Pin It

1402717506393.cachedFrom Newsmax

Islamic State militants have abducted at least 70 Assyrian Christians, including women and children, after overrunning a string of villages in northeastern Syria, two activist groups said Tuesday.

The extremist fighters swept through the villages nestled along the banks of Khabur River near the town of Tal Tamr in Hassakeh province around dawn on Monday. The area is predominantly inhabited by Assyrians, an indigenous Christian people who trace their roots back to the ancient Mesopotamians.

In the assault, the militants took between 70 and 100 Assyrians captive, said Nuri Kino, the head of the activist group A Demand For Action, which focuses on religious minorities in the Middle East. He said some 3,000 people managed to flee the onslaught and have sought refuge in the cities of Hassakeh and Qamishli.

Kino said his organization based its information on conversations with villagers who fled the onslaught and their relatives.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the abductions, but put the number of Assyrians held by the Islamic State group at 90. The Observatory relies on a network of activists inside Syria.

Both activist groups said that most of the captives come from the village of Tal Shamiram, located some 85 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of the provincial capital of Qamishli.

An Assyrian woman from Tal Shamiram who now lives in Beirut said she has been scrambling to find out what has become of her parents as well as her brother and his wife and kids.

“Land lines have been cut, their mobiles are closed,” she told The Associated Press. “Have they been slaughtered? Are they still alive? We’re searching for any news.”

She spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of endangering relatives believed to be held by the militants.

“My family visited me last month and returned to Syria. There were clashes but it was normal, nothing exceptional. I feel so helpless, I cannot do anything for them but pray,” she said by telephone, her voice breaking.

The Islamic State group’s online radio station, al-Bayan, said in a report Tuesday that IS fighters had detained “tens of crusaders” and seized 10 villages around Tal Tamr after clashes with Kurdish militiamen. IS frequently refers to Christians as “crusaders.”

It was not immediately clear what the Islamic State group planned to do with the Assyrians.

The militants have a long history of killing captives, including foreign journalists, Syrian soldiers and Kurdish militiamen. Most recently, militants in Libya affiliated with the Islamic State group released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians.

But the Islamic State group also could use its Assyrian captives to try to arrange a prisoner swap with the Kurdish and Christian militias it is battling in northeastern Syria. There is a precedent: the extremists have released Kurdish school children as well as Turkish truck drivers and diplomats after holding them for months.

For more on this story go to: http://www.newsmax.com/World/GlobalTalk/isis-kidnaps-syrian-christians/2015/02/24/id/626477/#ixzz3SlEQFTSH

IMAGE: www.thedailybeast.com

Related story:

Isis burns thousands of rare books and manuscripts from Mosul’s libraries
By Rose Troup Buchanan, Heather Saul From Independent UK
Islamist militants took the city in June last year

Isis militants have reportedly ransacked Mosul library, burning over a hundred thousand rare manuscripts and documents spanning centuries of human learning.
Initial reports said approximately 8,000 books were destroyed by the extremist group.

However, AL RAI’s chief international correspondent Elijah J. Magnier told The Independent that a Mosul library official believes as many as 112, 709 manuscripts and books, some of which were registered on a UNESCO rarities list, are among those lost.

Mosul Public Library’s director Ghanim al-Ta’an said Isis militants then demolished the building using explosive devices.

“People tried to prevent the terrorist group elements from burning the library, but failed,” a local source told IraqiNews.com.

Other reports indicated that Isis militants later broke into the library and constructed a huge pyre of scientific and cultural texts as university students watched in horror.

Among the documents believed lost are a collection of Iraqi newspapers from the beginning of the 20 century, maps, books and collections from the Ottoman period.
Mosul resident Rayan al-Hadidi said a mood of sorrow and anger had overtaken the capital. “I cry today over our situation,” the activist and a blogger told The Fiscal Times. Today the library’s official website was down.

A University of Mosul history professor told the Associated Press extremists began destroying the library – established in 1921 and symbolic of the birth of modern Iraq – earlier this month.

He claimed Isis members had inflicted particularly severe damage to the Sunni Muslim library, the library of the 265-year-old Latin Church and Monastery of the Dominican Fathers and the Mosul Museum Library – which contained manuscripts dating back to 5000BC.

Reports also indicate the militants may have not destroyed all the books, with some Mosul residents telling local news outlets they had seen trucks with Syrian licence plates loaded with documents driving off in the middle of the night.

A local report cited by AP claims that residents saw approximately 2,000 books – including children’s tales, poetry, philosophy, sports, health, culture and science – loaded onto six pick-up trucks.

In 2003, during the second US invasion, Mosul library was destroyed. Many of the precious volumes disappeared, but the efforts of locals – who saved many precious manuscripts by hiding them in their homes – and the money of wealthy families, who bought back the stolen books, saved the library.
view

Mosul, in northern Iraq, is the biggest city currently held by the Islamic extremists, who took it in June last year.

Earlier this week US Central Command claimed an Iraqi and Kurdish force of approximately 20,000 was being prepared to retake the city in May. The Iraqi government has criticised the decision to announce their intentions, claiming US commanders have revealed their hand to Isis.

Additional reporting from Associated Press and Reuters

For more on this story and video go to: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-burns-thousands-of-rare-books-and-manuscripts-from-mosuls-libraries-10068408.html

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About ieyenews

Speak Your Mind

*