The United States condemned the abduction by ISIS of 150 Assyrian Christians on Tuesday, calling for their immediate and unconditional release. 

Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) terrorists abducted 150 Assyrian Christians on Tuesday from the villages of Tal Shamiram and Tal Hermz in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reports. Initial reports had the number at 70.

They were kidnapped after the terrorist organization seized two Assyrian villages from Kurdish forces during heavy fighting for control of the region.

The US condemned the abduction, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the captives.

“ISIL’s latest targeting of a religious minority is only further testament to its brutal and inhumane treatment of all those who disagree with its divisive goals and toxic beliefs,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki stated.

“ISIL continues to exact its evil upon innocents of all faiths, and the majority of its victims have been Muslims. People of all faiths and many religious leaders throughout the region have united in condemning ISIL’s depravity, including its mass killings, rape, sexual enslavement, lashing, stoning, crucifixion, torture, and public murders of hostages,” she said.

“Hundreds of other civilians remain trapped in villages surrounded by ISIL fighters, and clashes continue between ISIL and local forces defending their communities. ISIL burned and destroyed homes and churches, and the violence has reportedly displaced more than 3,000 people. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of the civilians taken captive yesterday and of all those held by ISIL,” she declared.

ISIS has so far remained silent on the fate of their captives, and no reports have emerged of their whereabouts.

ISIS: ‘We Will Conquer Rome’

This latest attack by ISIS on a Christian community comes just days after ISIS terrorists in Libya beheaded 21 Christian Copt Egyptians. The victims were named as “The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church,” and an ISIS terrorist threatened during the horrific incident that “We will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission.”

Many Christians have emigrated from Syria and Iraq, fleeing ISIS persecution. Before the arrival of Kurds and Arab nomadic tribes at the end of the 19th century, Christians formed the majority in Syria’s Jazeera area.

In December, Pope Francis lamented the fact that Christians are being “driven from the Middle East.”

“Due to an extremist and fundamentalist group, entire communities, especially, but not only, Christians and Yazidi, have suffered and continue to suffer, inhuman violence because of their religious and ethnic identity,” the Pope said. “Christians and Yazidi have been forced out of their homes; they have had to abandon everything to save their lives, but they have not denied their faith.”

“Even holy buildings, monuments, religious symbols and cultural heritage have been affected by the violence, almost as if to cancel every trace, every memory of the other,” Francis added.

By Aryeh Savir
United with Israel Staff

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