The Islamic State group has seized at least 90 Assyrian Christians in Syria, in the militant group’s first mass kidnapping of Christians in the war-torn country, a monitor said on Tuesday.
The abductions appeared to be in retaliation for a major Kurdish offensive aimed at recapturing nearby villages, and which has killed 132 militants in four days, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Britain-based monitor said IS kidnapped the Assyrians on Monday after seizing two villages, Tal Shamiram and Tal Hermuz, in Hassakeh province from the control of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
The group had no immediate details on those kidnapped, including whether women and children were among them, or where they were being held.
“The militants attacked the two villages in retaliation against the Kurds, who four days ago launched a bid backed by the US-led coalition to reclaim villages around Tal Hamis, also in Hassakeh province,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2015.
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