ISIS abducts 230 civilians in central Syria
Among the kidnapped are 60 Christians. ISIS abducted these civilians after seizing a key town in Syria’s Homs
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has abducted 230 civilians, including at least 60 Christians, in a central Syrian town hours after it captured it, a monitoring group said on Friday, the same day the U.N. approved a resolution aimed at identifying perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks in the war-torn nation which have killed hundreds.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the civilians were taken on Thursday in the town of Al-Qaryatain, which ISIS jihadists had captured late Wednesday.
“Daesh kidnapped at least 230 people, including at least 60 Christians, during a sweep through Al-Qaryatain,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said, using another name for ISIS.
Many of the Christians had fled from Aleppo province, in Syria’s north, to seek refuge in Al-Qaryatain.
He said those abducted were wanted by ISIS for “collaborating with the regime,” and their names were on a list used by the jihadists as they swept through the town.
Families who tried to flee or hide were tracked down and taken by the jihadists, he said.
Al-Qaryatain lies at the crossroads between ISIS territory in the eastern countryside of Homs and areas further west in the Qalamun area.
It had a pre-war population of 18,000, including Sunni Muslims and around 2,000 Syriac Catholics and Orthodox Christians.
According to a Syrian Christian who lives in Damascus but is originally from Al-Qaryatain, the town’s Christian population has dropped to only 300.
In May, masked men abducted Syrian priest Jacques Mourad from the Syriac Catholic Mar Elian monastery in Al-Qaryatain, near the ISIS-captured ancient city of Palmyra.
Mourad, who was known to help both Christians and Muslims, was preparing aid for an influx of refugees from Palmyra.
Syrian archbishop calls for U.S. to offer more asylum to ChristiansA Syrian archbishop said the United States' reluctance to offer asylum to persecuted Christians is "unjust and condemnable" Features
Ancient Syrian Christian town dedicates new Virgin Mary statueLocated north of Damascus, Maalula is one of the world’s oldest Christian settlements Features
Syrian, Iraqi Christians plead for international assistanceThey spoke in two Beirut churches where they lined up to receive food baskets and other humanitarian assistance Features
ISIS abducts at least 90 Syrian ChristiansISIS has destroyed churches and Christian shrines in Syria, and demanded that Christians living under its rule pay a tax Middle East
ISIS seizes key Syrian town in HomsAfter heavy clashes with Assad forces, ISIS seizes Al-Qaryatain town, located along a road linking the ancient city of Palmyra Middle East
U.S. bombs ISIS after taking off from TurkeyTurkey’s FM says Ankara is ‘training and equipping’ moderate Syrian rebels to start fighting ISIS during a meeting with Kerry Middle East
Syrian fighters’ capture spells trouble for anti-ISIS coalitionCapture of Syria's rebel fighters recruited to fight ISIS could mean trouble for U.S.-led coalition against militant group Middle East
Syrian Kurdish militia reclaims town from ISISAlso on Monday, two bombs hit the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli in northeastern Syria, wounding at least three people Middle East
Army, Kurds advance against ISIS in Syria's HasakehSyrian government troops and Kurdish forces advanced against ISIS group fighters in the northeastern city of Hasakeh Middle East