IS kidnaps 220 Christian Assyrians in northern Syria

DAMASCUS, Feb. 26 (PNA/Xinhua) — The number of Christian Assyrians snatched by the Islamic State (IS) group in northern Syria has risen to 220 over the past three days, a monitoring group reported on Thursday.

The IS kidnapped the Assyrians from 11 villages in the town of Tal Tamr, which is considered the capital of the Syrian Assyrians in the northern province of al-Hasakah. The IS recently unleashed an offensive against Assyrian towns and villages.

Citing sources, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the abductees were taken to an area in the Abdul-Aziz mountain southwest of Tal Tamr, adding that the IS managed to capture people around that town, amid a large wave of displacement among the Assyrians to nearby areas.

The Observatory cited Assyrian sources as saying that negotiations with the IS are taking place via mediators for the release of the kidnapped.

The same sources confirmed that the IS also burnt down two churches in the countryside of Tal Tamr. (PNA/Xinhua)