Assyrian Community ‘At Risk of Extinction’ from Islamic State

People from the Yezidi community flee from massacres by Islamic State forces towards the Syrian border. Syria's Assyrian community fears a similar fate if nothing is done to stop the Islamic State. (Photo: Reuters)

HASAKAH, Syria (RFE/RL)—An Assyrian Christian organization has warned that Syria’s Assyrian community could face a mass killing and has called on the international community to intervene, after militants from the Islamic State (IS) group abducted Assyrian Christians from villages in Syria’s Hasakah Province.

Karam Dola, a member of the Assyrian Democratic Organization in Hasakah Province told Radio Free Iraq reporter Manar Abdulrazzaq on February 24 that militants had overran rural villages populated by Assyrian Christians at dawn on February 23.

“In Tel Hormuz there were not many families, but there were more than 13 people, elderly men, women and children who were kidnapped,” Dola said.

According to Dola, up to 90 people from the village of Tel Shamiram are also considered missing.

“They were unable to escape when [the IS group] overran the area at dawn,” Dola added.

The British-based group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which monitors the violence in Syria via a network of contacts, also reported that at least 90 Assyrian Christians had been abducted by militants in Tel Shamiram and Tel Hormuz.

Moreover, SOHR said that 14 Islamic State militants had been killed in U.S.-led air strikes east of the town of Tel Hamis in Hasakah.

Dola said that on February 24, 34 villages on the banks of the Khabur River in Hasakah province had been evacuated and residents moved to Hasakah town or to the town of Qamishli.

The Assyrian community in Syria is extremely concerned about the situation, according to Dola, who told Radio Free Iraq that there are about 600 Assyrian families in Hasakah province.

“We in the Assyrian Democratic Organization have sent out a distress call to the international community and to all national forces to immediately intervene and prevent the occurrence of [the] expected massacre,” Dola said.

Dola warned that the Assyrian community in Syria is “at risk of extinction.”

According to the pro-opposition Step News Agency, the Islamic State group’s military commander in Syria, the Georgian-born ethnic Chechen Kist Umar Shishani, is leading the offensive in Hasakah. That news, which is plausible based on previous offensives in northern Syria, has not been independently reported on pro-Islamic State Russian-language social media.


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  1. tommy said:

    Thanks to AKA the Turkish government who LETS ISIS into Syria and supports ISIS. Turkey=ISIS

  2. zarkim said:

    Americans funded, armed and encouraged Turkey to allow these terrorists to get stronger, enter Syria/Iraq and kill/kidnap innocent civilians. Most of these terrorists’ weapons were supplies by US Administration and allies.
    Once again Americans arm the Terrorists by MISTAKE.
    Turkish terrorists that attacked Kessab were encouraged by Americans/allies and NATO including ISRAEL. ISIS exists because of Americans and their allies. ISIS’s stronghold/nest is in Turkey.
    U.S. Caught Training ISIS Terrorist At Secret Jordan Base.
    Kurdish people and all other groups who have been hurt by these animals should blame the Americans for their cowardly act of stirring things up and then running away.
    jihadist attacks hit Syria-ISIS ATTACKED FROM TURKEY…
    ISIS Launches Attack On Syria’s Kobani From Turkey
    Syria has been a SHELTER to millions of ETHNIC minorities for centuries. Why does anyone want to destroy it? Learn from Syria about MULTICULTURALISM. Syria should be congratulated. Even “ISRAELIS” used Syria as a safe-heaven. Look at the way THESE “Wolves in sheepskin” show their appreciation. Look what these “ANIMALS” have done to SYRIA/Aleppo?

  3. Hratch said:

    Assyrians and Babylonia ceased to exist long ago. They only survived by the grace of those that have ruled them for millennia.

  4. Areg said:

    Another Genocide of Assyrians in the making. Open your eyes Obama. Again the Genocidal Turk behind this.

  5. Sarkis said:

    History repeats itself, specially when previous mistakes are not corrected. We feel sorry for the Assyrian population and by hearing these stories we cannot remain silentsince we suffered the same a 100 years ago.

    The big powers of the world in 1915 did nothing but talk in order to stop the Armenian genocide. They justified themselves that they were busy in WW1 defending themselves. Many Assyrians perished also in 1915 together with the Armenian population of Anatolia just because they were christian.

    Today, these is no justification for the world powers to stand by and watch to what is happening to the Assyrians.