A Kurdish fighter holds a machine gun on the outskirts of the Syrian town of Kobani, also known as Ain al-Arab, on March 30, 2015. (© AFP)
Kurdish forces in Syria have managed to take control of 14 Assyrian Christian villages that had been held by the Takfiri ISIL terrorists since February.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that the Kurdish fighters engaged the terrorists in a ten-day operation to liberate the villages.
The terrorists in February attacked a number of Assyrian Christian villages along the Khabur River in the northeastern province of Hasakah. They also kidnapped hundreds of Assyrians. Reports say 210 hostages are still held by the terror group.
The ISIL raid forced thousands of Christians from their homes.
ISIL, abductions and ransom
Meanwhile, Osama Edward, the head of the Sweden-based Assyrian Network for Human Rights, said photos from the region showed a massive destruction of houses and churches in the liberated villages.
“Most people are afraid to return because they fear that ISIL booby-trapped their houses before fleeing,” he said.
In May, the Assyrian network said ISIL had demanded USD 22 million in ransom for the release of over 200 Assyrians abducted in Hasakah.
Assyrians account for about 2.5 percent of Syria’s 1.2 million Christians. They come from one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. Assyrians inhabit 35 villages in Hasakah, all of which are now under the control of the Kurdish fighters or Syria’s government forces.
No boundaries to ISIL atrocities
The Takfiri ISIL terrorists, with recruits from several Western countries, control parts of Syria and Iraq.
They have been engaged in horrific acts of violence against all ethnic and religious communities, ranging from public decapitations to crucifixions.