See detail of Assyrian villages below.

See detail of Assyrian villages below.

Earlier today, we shared a news report saying that at least 90 Assyrian Christians had been abducted by Islamic State forces in northeastern Syria.

We have now learned that ISIS attacked several Christian villages spread out over 40 kilometers before dawn Monday in the region of Khabour.

Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana of the Christian Aid Program Nohadra Iraq wrote in an email that 600 families fled to Hasseke and Qamishley.

Khabour MapBishop Mar Aprem Athniel in Hasseke said the church and community hall are overloaded with people and that they were recruiting host families in the city, according the Yaoukhana.

However as many as 100 families did not escape and were captured by ISIS. Men were separated from women and children. A 17-year-old male was reportedly killed.

“Knowing the brutal barbaric record of IS with the captured,” Youkhana wrote, “the destiny of those families is a major concern to us.”

The churches of Tel Hormez and Tel Shamiran were set on fire, he reports, adding that witnesses reported seeing fires in other villages, too.

Youkhana said ISIS was aided by nearby Arab Sunni villages. However, there was a report that other Arab Sunni villagers near the Assyrian village of Qaber Shamiat rescued and protected 15 Christians.

The Syriac Military Council said they had liberated 22 villages from ISIS on Sunday, which led to the ISIS counterattack Monday morning. The council and the Democratic Union Kuridsh Party intend to fight to retake the lost villages.

The Khabour region has 35 Assyrian villages. Those villages were started by Assyrians who fled Iraq during the massacre of August 1933, Youkhana wrote.

Youkhana prayed, “May God bring an end to the continuous suffer of the people in our countries and worldwide.”

We join in prayer for our brothers in Messiah.

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