ISIS Targets Christian Town, Killing Scores of People, Including Children – Amanda Casanova

ISIS Targets Christian Town, Killing Scores of People, Including Children

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Islamic State soldiers have reportedly killed “scores” of people, including women and children, in Qaryatayn, a town that was once predominantly Christian.

Syrian troops recaptured the city over the weekend, but found that ISIS had killed many civilians.

“These are people who don’t know God, they don’t know anything. They killed children and women with knives, they beat women, broke their arms,” a town resident said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It’s unclear how many were killed. The Associated Press said 67 were killed, while Homs province Governor Tala Barazi told Reuters that “more than 60 were dead” and more than 100 are missing. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said some 128 people were killed.

Abdullah AbdulKarim, a former resident of the city, said the latest slaughter was revenge killing. His own uncle and two of his cousins were shot.

“They came into town with a hit list,” he said, adding that soldiers went door to door for weeks looking for people.

According to International Christian Concern, Qaryatayn was a predominantly Christian town until about 2015 when ISIS first captured the city.

The town has been recaptured and taken back between Syrian and ISIS forces many times. The town was finally recaptured again by ISIS earlier this month.

 

Written by: Amanda Casanova

10,000 Christians Have Fled Northern Iraq Since ISIS Takeover

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has reported that up to 10,000 people have fled northern Iraq since ISIS began its takeover of the predominantly Christian region. 
 
Violence and gunfire in the area has prompted civilians to flee Qaraqosh as quickly as possible; most refugees bring few belongings. The UNHCR is partnering with additional charities to provide food, bedding, and hygiene kits to those forced to stay in schools and community centers. 
 
Still, the conditions are difficult for the Christians who have been forced out of their homes. “They have no access to showers and there is no air conditioning. They are living in classrooms where daytime temperatures exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degreed Fahrenheit),” said a UNHCR spokesperson. Some refugees need medical treatment and lack access to doctors.
 
In total, 1.2 million Iraqis have fled the region due to violence. The UNHCR reports that $64.2 million is needed to assist the influx of refugees; so far, they have only raised 8 percent. 
 
The announcement from the UNHCR came on June 20, the same day that Human Rights Watch reported ISIS insurgents had killed at least 160 Iraqi men in a mass execution. 
 
 
Publication date: June 27, 2014
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