It should be no surprise that ISIS has been accused of abducting at least 150 Assyrian Christians from villages that they captured Monday. The villages are Assyrian Christian villages in the northern province of Hassakeh. After early success, the Islamic State is being pushed back by joint operations.
Kurdish and Christian militiamen battled Islamic State militants Wednesday in northeastern Syria, where the extremist group abducted at least 150 people from Assyrian Christian villages, according to activists.
And Reuters reports.
A Syrian Christian group representing several NGO’s inside and outside the country said it had verified at least 150 people missing, including women and elderly, who had been kidnapped by the militants.
“We have verified at least 150 people who have been adducted from sources on the ground,” Bassam Ishak, President of the Syriac National Council of Syria, whose family itself is from Hasaka, told Reuters from Amman.
They have taken more people to possibly use to horrify others in the region. There have been three main reasons for ISIS to take hostages. They could negotiate for the release of fighters taken by Christian and Kurdish militiamen. This has occurred before over the past four years.
They also could use them for execution. Just as the group used the 21 Christians from Egypt. This has served to strike fear into those in the area. They, like the Coptic Christians, could be executed for refusing to convert. The group also have used their hostages as means to display and brag about their victory. Several hostages have been videoed in cages.
They also could use them as human shields. The group has less employed this than other Islamic terrorists. Groups like Hamas and Al-Qaeda have done this frequently, but this remains a possible use of these victims.
There is hope that the Christian and Kurdish militia will reach the hostage’s location. Reuters reported.
Syrian Kurdish militia launched two offensives against the militants in northeast Syria on Sunday, helped by U.S.-led air strikes and Iraqi peshmerga.
We as Christians must remember our brothers in chains. Hebrews 13:3 says:
Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.
Also, we should pray for the conversion or destruction of those who persecute the Church of God. Ps. 139:19 says:
O that You would slay the wicked, O God;
Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
May God grant the safe return of these Christians and the utter destruction of His enemies. May He grant the Christians fighting in the region the strength and courage to overcome these wicked men.