More Assyrian Christians captured as ISIS attacks villages in Syria

The New York Times reports: Continuing its assaults on a string of Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria, the Islamic State militant group has seized scores more residents over the past two days, bringing the number of captives to as many as several hundred, Assyrian organizations inside and outside Syria said on Thursday.

The number of captives reported by different Assyrian groups has varied because, in the chaos of fighting, many families are fleeing and it has taken time to verify by name those captured.

The Syriac Military Council, a militia formed in recent years to protect Assyrian villages in the traditionally diverse area of Hasaka, in northeastern Syria, said in a statement that more than 350 civilians from 12 villages had been abducted.

George Stifo, a leader of the United States branch of the Assyrian Democratic Organization, part of the Syrian opposition, provided the names of 96 captives, which included several children. The Assyrian International News Agency, a website tracking community news, reported that 150 were missing.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an antigovernment monitoring group with a network of contacts in Syria, said on Thursday that 220 were missing. [Continue reading…]

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