Over 1,000 Christian families flee IS terror

Over 1,000 Christian families flee IS terror
Updated 26 February 2015

Over 1,000 Christian families flee IS terror

Over 1,000 Christian families flee IS terror

BEIRUT: Nearly 1,000 Assyrian Christian families have fled their homes in northeastern Syria after militants kidnapped dozens of members of their community, an activist said on Wednesday.
Osama Edward, director of the Sweden-based Assyrian Human Rights Network, said they had fled in fear after terrorists from the Islamic State group took the Assyrian Christians hostage early this week.
“Since Monday, 800 families have taken refuge in the city of Hasakeh and another 150 in Qamishli,” a Kurdish town on the border with Turkey, Edward told AFP.
Edward said that, according to his sources in the community, IS militants had kidnapped “between 70 and 100 people, mainly women, children and the elderly.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said earlier that IS militants had taken 90 Assyrian Christians hostage in Hasakeh province since Monday.
A native of part of the region where 35 Assyrian villages are located, Edward said “the terrorists broke into houses at around 4 a.m. while everyone was asleep” on Monday.
IS has since Monday captured at least a dozen villages in the area, Edward said, including his wife’s hometown of Tal Shamiram.
“When she tried to reach her uncle by telephone, a man replied and said: ‘This is the house of the Islamic State,’” Edward said.
“People were expecting an attack, but they thought that either the Syrian army — which is just 30 km from there — or the Kurds or the coalition’s strikes would protect them,” he added.