ISIS militants stormed the Tell Tamer area in Syria on Monday morning taking Assyrian villagers hostage. The women and children were separated from the men, who were taken to the Abd al-Aziz mountains.
The women were kept in the village guarded by ISIS militants. The total number of hostages taken is unclear, but it is estimated at several hundred.
The villagers are predominantly Christian, and jihadist-tracking social media accounts indicate the terrorist group burned down a church during the attack.
Nuri Kino, founder of A Demand for Action (ADFA), said the Syrian villages had been attacked at 5 a.m. with 3,000 people now ‘displaced’.
The organization, which campaigns for Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriacs in the country, said ‘refugees and fighters’ had been in touch with relatives in Sweden, Germany and Canada to confirm the figures.
Kino reported that his organization attempted to reach villagers by phone, but an ISIS militant picked up and “[ISIS] told us that we should not call any longer since we cannot do anything about their situation,” ADFA said in a statement.
ISIS demanded a prisoner exchange with Kurdish fighters and are seeking the release of ISIS members in exchange for the villagers.
The ISIS’s online radio station, al-Bayan, said in a report today that ISIS fighters had detained ‘tens of crusaders’ and seized 10 villages around Tal Tamr after clashes with Kurdish militiamen. ISIS frequently refers to Christians as ‘crusaders.’
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