ISIS abducts at least 90 Syrian Christians
ISIS has destroyed churches and Christian shrines in Syria, and demanded that Christians living under its rule pay a tax
Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) 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.
ISIS has destroyed churches and Christian shrines in Syria, and demanded that Christians living under its rule pay a tax known as jizya.
In Libya, ISIS jihadists last week released a video showing the beheadings of 21 mostly Egyptian Christians.
Much of Hassakeh is divided between Kurdish and ISIS control.
Fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have been on the offensive in the province in recent days.
They have taken 24 villages and hamlets as part of an operation to try to recapture the town of Tal Hamis and surrounding areas.
Tal Hamis lies to the east of the villages taken by IS on Tuesday.
YPG forces have also been on the offensive in Raqa province, which neighbors Hassakeh, seizing 19 villages as they advance following their recapture of the strategic border town of Kobane last month.
The Kurdish forces have been backed by U.S.-led air strikes launched by the international coalition fighting ISIS.
The Observatory said the coalition carried out a series of strikes around Tal Hamis on Tuesday that killed 14 ISIS members.
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