Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Syria | isis | syria | russia | christians | killed

BBC: ISIS Killed 21 Christians in Syrian Town

BBC: ISIS Killed 21 Christians in Syrian Town
A Catholic priest inspects the damage at Mar Elian monastery on April 8, 2016 in al-Qaryatain, a town in central Syria, a few days after Syrian regime forces seized it from jihadists of the Islamic State group. (Max Delany/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 11 April 2016 02:00 PM

Now that Syria has taken back a city from the Islamic State, details are coming to light of its takeover in August 2015, including that forces killed 21 Christians, according to the BBC

Three of the victims were women, the Syrian Orthodox Church's Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II told the BBC.

On April 4, the town of al-Qaryatain was back in Syrian hands with its force back by Russia, reported the BBC,and allowing it to be used as a staging ground for attacks against ISIS near the Iraqi border.

When ISIS captured the city in August 2015, almost 300 Christians remained. The forces kidnapped at least 230 civilians and dozens of Christians.

Some died while trying to escape, Aphrem said. Others were killed because they broke their "dhimmi contracts," which requires them to submit to the rule of Islam. They were forced to sign the contract and pay taxes, reported the BBC.  

Five more Christians are missing and presumed dead and families have paid ransoms to get many of the abducted to be returned. The town is in ruins, including a 1,500-year-old Catholic monastery.

Aphrem said he had received warnings that ISIS planned to sell Christian girls into slavery. 

The Syrian government has been bringing back people to al-Qaryatain and its neighboring city of Palmyra. Their patriarch holds out hope that "we can live together again, if we are left alone by others."

"It's hard to believe I am still alive," said mechanical engineer Bassam Dabbas. 

Over 700,000 Christians, about 10 percent of the country's population, have left Syria, according to Newsweek.  

The U.N. peace envoy to Syria said talks to end the war are "crucially important," reported the Daily Mail

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Now that Syria has taken back a city from the Islamic State, details are coming to light of its takeover in August 2015, including that forces killed 21 Christians, according to the BBC.
isis, syria, russia, christians, killed
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2016-00-11
Monday, 11 April 2016 02:00 PM
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