Hasaka, Syria (AINA) — The number of Assyrians captured by ISIS in yesterday’s attacks (AINA 2015-02-23) is now estimated to be at 150. ISIS attacked the 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur river in Hasaka, Syria, killing at least 9 Assyrians who were defending their villages. There has been fierce fighting since yesterday between ISIS and Assyrian and Kurdish militia. Up to 130 ISIS members have been killed.
Negotiations to free some of the hostages are ongoing. Prominent Arab Sheiks in Hasaka are acting as intermediaries between ISIS and Assyrian leaders. The Sheiks are pushing ISIS to at least release the Assyrians who did not fight. According to sources in Hasaka, ISIS has agreed in principle to release those Assyrians who offered no resistance but flatly rejected releasing those who fought back.
The group of Assyrians that may be released is believed to be being held in Abdul Aziz Mountain, approximately 60 kilometers from the Assyrian villages where they were captured. This group of Assyrians is from the villages of Tel Goran, Abu Tina and Tel Jazira.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an antigovernment monitoring group with a network of contacts in Syria, said on Thursday that 220 were missing.
Assyrian organizations and the observatory reported that negotiations were taking place for the release of the prisoners in exchange for Islamic State fighters held by Christian and Kurdish militias, with local Arab tribal leaders acting as mediators.
The Assyrian news agency said that the tribal leaders were pushing the Islamic State to release civilian Assyrians, and that the group had agreed in principle “to release those Assyrians who offered no resistance, but flatly rejected releasing those who fought back.”
In a video posted to YouTube, a resident of the village of Abu Tineh in the Tal Tamer district, described what he said had been his dramatic flight as fighters from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, approached the village after midnight.
“We took a small boat to go to the other side of the river,” he said. “We took the children and women, then the youths.”
He said he knew of scores of people in neighboring villages, including eight women, who had been captured. “We don’t know what happened next,” he said.
Video also surfaced on Thursday appearing to be an official Islamic State production made in Iraq’s Nineveh Province, which is also traditionally home to many Assyrian Christians. The video showed black-clad men apparently using sledgehammers and drills to destroy ancient artifacts, including some dating back to the ancient Assyrian Empire from which many Assyrian Christians claim to be descended.
Please Help Rescue Christians Marked for Genocide by McCain’s Heroes and Obama’s Allies………click on the banner below.