By Dan Wooding, Founder of the ASSIST News Service
SYRIA (ANS – August 7, 2015) — According to reports from human rights groups and observers, the self-styled Islamic State terror group abducted between 150 and 250 Assyrians from the town of Qaryatain, which fell to them yesterday.
The Assyrian International News Agency (http://www.aina.org) says it received the news in a press statement from the Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese of Homs, which stated that 250 Assyrians were captured by Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and they included women and children.
“A number of them were captured at the Syriac Catholic Mar Elian monastery,” said the AINA story.
“The Assyrian Federation of Sweden is reporting that 100 families are being held. If this is true, this would make the number of abducted much larger than 250.”
IS has reportedly created a list of individuals to be kidnapped because they are “collaborating” with the Syrian regime.
More than 1,500 people have fled Qaryatain since fighting began started on August 4.
Related: Attacks on Assyrians in Syria by ISIS and Other Muslim Groups
AINA says that on February 23, Islamic State attacked the 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur river in the Hasaka province, capturing 253 Assyrians and driving 3,000 from their homes. It subsequently released 25 Assyrians, but 228 remain in captivity. All the villages have since been liberated but very few Assyrians have returned.
“It is estimated that 600,000 Christians have left Syria since the war began,” AINA concluded.
Photo captions: 2) Islamic State fighters. 2) Assyrian refugees in church. 3) Dan Wooding pictured outside the Kurdistan Parliament in Erbil during a reporting trip to Northern Iraq.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He has written some 45 books. Dan also hosts three TV programs, His Channel Live on www.hischannel.com), Inside Hollywood with Dan Wooding, a 13-part series which is still be worked on with Tim Hathaway, and Windows on the World with Dan Wooding and Pam Christian, which will begin air on Monday, August 10, on www.hsbn.tv. He also hosts the week Front Page Radio show on the KWVE Radio Network (www.kwve.com), which is also broadcast on several other stations in the US, UK and Belize.
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