The abductions took place after ISIS seized two Assyrian communities from Kurdish forces in the northeast province of Hassakeh. Dawn raids are said to have spread ‘panic’ in the villages, inhabited by the ancient Christian minority along the banks of the Khabur River near the town of Tel Hmar.
UK Daily Mail Most of the captives are said to have came from the village of Tal Shamiram, located 50 miles miles southwest of the Hassakeh provincial capital of Qamishli, with others taken from Tal Hermuz. The kidnappings were revealed by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The latest offensive coincides with a push by Syrian Kurds in the northeast near the Iraqi border since Sunday that had compounded losses for the militant group in Syria. Sources are reported to have told the human rights watchdog that jihadists swooped to abduct dozens of civilians from the village of Tal Shamiram.
Nuri Kino, founder of A Demand for Action (ADFA), said the Syrian villages had been attacked at 5am with 3,000 people ‘displaced’. The organisation, which campaigns for Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriacs in the country, said ‘refugees and fighters’ had been in touch with relatives in Sweden, Germany and Canada to confirm the figures.
Mr Kino said between 70 and 100 people – mostly women and children – had been taken away while the men that were abducted were transported to the Abd al-Aziz mountains. He told Newsweek how witnesses had described the Isis force as ‘massive’ and that an atmosphere of ‘panic’ had spread throughout the villages.
It has been reported that the extremists had demanded a prisoner swap with the Kurdish fighters.
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.’
The Islamic State group’s online radio station, al-Bayan, said in a report today that IS fighters had detained ‘tens of crusaders’ and seized 10 villages around Tal Tamr after clashes with Kurdish militiamen. ISIS frequently refers to Christians as ‘crusaders.’