IS extremists target Assyrian minority in Syria’s Hasakah

A rally at Daley Plaza where Assyrian Christians are protesting their treatment in Iraq and Syria. File photo

ARA News

Istanbul, Turkey – Several civilians from the Assyrian minority group were reportedly kidnapped by militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS), al-Qaeda offshoot, in the vicinity of the town of Tel Temir al-Hasakah province, in northern Syria, during the past three days, local sources reported.

Zumaia Marqas, one of the Assyrians of the town and close to the Christian police forces of “Sutoro” stated to ARA News that these incidents occurred over the last three days on the southern road of Tel Temir and al-Hasakah.

“Dr. Samir Hormuz, one of the Assyrian citizens in the area, was kidnapped by pro-IS militants,” Marqas reported, adding that several other Assyrians, including Ninos Jean and Kayvarkis Berkho, were taken as hostages by IS extremists.

According to Marqas, two well-known Assyrian figures in the region, Dr. Shlimon and professor Jonah Baruta, disappeared while on their way back from al-Hasakah to Tel Temir on Thursday.

“A passenger bus was attacked and all the passengers were kidnapped including Dr. Shlimon and professor Baruta. Locals found the partially damaged bus on the side road near Tel Temir,” Marqas added.

On Friday, IS extremists abducted Denkha Mett, a 40-year-old Assyrian resident of Tel Temir, local sources told ARA News.

The anti-Assyrian campaign by IS militants included mass arrests in villages in the countryside of Tel Temir, such as the village of al-Fweida (6 km south of Tel Temir town), where dozens of civilians were captured by the IS group, and at least one civilian,named Yusif Ayyo, was shot dead on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a member of the Assyrian Peace Council in Tel Temir told ARA News that the council is holding talks with some IS-linked tribal figures in the area in order to release the Assyrian hostages.

“We are trying our best to get the abducted Assyrian civilians free. We hope the Islamic State group will respond to our request as the targeted people have never been involved in political or armed activities against IS,” the member of the Assyrian council said, under the condition of anonymity.

“Such practices might have destructive consequences on the social fabric of the region.”

Noteworthy, there are 12 Assyrian villages under the control of IS extremists, mostly in the suburbs of Tel Temir, but these villages have been completely evacuated of inhabitants for fear of IS atrocities.


Reporting by: Delawer Jano

Source: ARA News

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