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Islamic State in Syria: mass abductions from Christian villages

Wednesday 25 February 2015, by siawi3

1.
Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/islamic-state-in-syria-abducts-at-least-90-from-christian-villages/article6928865.ece

AMMAN, February 24, 2015
Updated: February 24, 2015 14:43 IST
Islamic State in Syria abducts at least 90 from Christian villages

Islamic State militants have abducted at least 90 people from Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria, a monitor that tracks violence in Syria said on Tuesday.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the abductions took place after dawn raids in villages inhabited by the ancient Christian minority near the town of Tel Hmar, a mainly Assyrian town, in the western countryside of the city of Hasaka, a city mainly held by the Kurds.
The latest offensive coincides with a push by Syrian Kurds in northeastern Syria near the Iraqi border since Sunday that had compounded losses for the militant group in Syria.

2.
Source: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/is-kidnaps-90-assyrian-christians-in-syria/article6930555.ece

Today’s Paper » INTERNATIONAL
BEIRUT, February 25, 2015
IS kidnaps 90 Assyrian Christians in Syria

First time the group has kidnapped Christians en masse in the country
Jihadists from the Islamic State group have kidnapped at least 90 Assyrian Christians in northeast Syria, after overrunning two villages, a monitor said on Tuesday.
The abductions appeared to be the first time the group has kidnapped Christians en masse in Syria, though the jihadists have taken thousands of prisoners as they have advanced in the country and neighbouring Iraq.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said IS kidnapped the 90 Assyrians on Monday after seizing two villages in Hassakeh province.
The group had no immediate details on those kidnapped, including whether women and children were among them, or where they were being held.
There were just 30,000 Assyrians in Syria before the country’s conflict erupted in March 2011, with most of them living throughout Hassakeh province.
They represent a tiny percentage of the country’s overall Christian population, which numbered around 1.2 million people before the war.
The 90 Assyrians were kidnapped after IS fighters overran the villages of Tal Shamiram and Tal Hermuz, which had been under the control of Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) fighters.
Fierce clashes broke out on Monday between IS and YPG forces for control of the two villages as well as the nearby town of Tal Tamr, which remains under Kurdish control.
The mass IS abduction of Assyrians appeared to be the first of its kind in Syria, but the group has become infamous for its abuses, including the mass kidnapping of minority Kurdish Yazidis in Iraq. It also abducted dozens of Kurdish students in Syria last year, freeing them only after months in captivity.
The group has destroyed Christian shrines and churches in the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq, and demanded a tax known as jizya from Christians who remain in its self-declared Islamic “caliphate†. It regularly refers to Christians as “crusaders,†and has carried out brutal executions of foreigners held hostage in Syria. — AFP
There were just 30,000 Assyrians in Syria before the country’s conflict erupted in
March 2011