ISIS bombs Assyrian church, abducts and displaces hundreds Christians northern Syria

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Displaced Assyrian families from Tel Temir. Photo: ANHR

ARA News

Hasakah, Syria – Dozens of Assyrian Christian families were displaced from the town of Tel Temir in northeastern Syria following attacks by extremists of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS).

Most of the displaced Assyrian families headed to the city of Hasakah, eyewitnesses told ARA News on Tuesday.  

The Assyrian Network for Human Rights released a statement saying that the IS gunmen seized control of a number of villages belonging to Assyrian citizens.

The main villages controlled by IS extremists were Tel Shamiram, Tel Talaa, Tel Tal, Tel Tawil, Tel Hormuz and Qabr Shamiya. The radical group broke into the houses of villagers, taking many as hostages, according to the source.

“Meanwhile, hundreds of families are still stranded indoors because of the continuous IS sniper operations in the area, after seizure of the Yalda Assyrian palace,” the Assyrian Network for Human Rights reported.  

The radical group has also bombed the ancient Assyrian church of Qabr Shamiya in the countryside of Tel Temir.

Speaking to ARA News in Tel Temir, Assyrian activist Zeya Beto said: “The terrorists bombed the church after taking over the countryside of Tel Temir. This church stood for our (Assyrian) deep roots in the region. They (IS militants) try to eliminate our ancient culture.”

“The Assyrian community is in danger. We appeal to the international community to intervene and rescue thousands of innocents from expected massacres,” she said.  

“All the women and children of the Assyrian villages and the town of Tel Temir were displaced for fear of possible massacres by the terrorists. Some of them took shelter in churches of the city of Hasakah,” Beto told ARA News

Wael Bahi, member of the Assyrian military council, stated to ARA News that the Islamic State terrorists seized in the early morning hours the villages of Tel Tal and Tel Shamiram (2 km southwest of Tel Temir).

“The women and children were evacuated from these villages, as all Assyrian military forces headed to the town of Tel Temir,” he added. “We cooperate with the Kurdish forces of the YPG to defeat IS and oblige the group to withdraw from our areas.” 

 

Reporting by: Zozan Shekho

Source: ARA News

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