ISIS, a more common word for the Islamic State, is on the prowl. ISIS kidnapped hundreds of people, many of whom are Christians, from a small town in Syria.
According to Newsweek, ISIS moved into Qaryatain, a Syrian town, and proceeded to kidnap hundreds of citizens. Nuri Kino, founder of A Demand for Action, which is an Assyrian advocacy group, confirmed the fact that ISIS kidnapped hundreds, and many more are on the run for safety.
“250 people are still missing. 1,500 people fled to the churches of Homs, water, medicine, food is needed immediately. They are tired, they are exhausted from fleeing. [Unidentified negotiators] are trying to negotiate and beg ISIS to release them since there are children and women among them who are innocent.”
It is surprising and heartbreaking to Kino that so many people around the world came to the defense of Cecil the lion, but are content to stand by as women and children are captured and tortured by ISIS. Nuri states that ISIS is attempting a Christian genocide.
“We will not give up being a voice for these people. It’s devastating that a lot of people spoke up for [Cecil] the lion but the same people do not speak up for children being kidnapped and sold on markets.”
Prior to the ISIS war, Qaryatain was home to some 2,000 Christians. Sadly, that number had dwindled to only a few hundred. The amount has been drastically reduced following the latest ISIS raid.
The prospect for those kidnapped by ISIS is terrifying. It seems their options are limited, and release for ransom is a dim hope. Benjamin Decker, of the Levantine Group, shares his opinion.
“I don’t really see a good chance of them being released, whether they are kept in captivity, sold as sex slaves or killed. The prospect of their release is very slim.
“I don’t think we are in a situation where [ISIS] will be offering a ransom for their release. This was a political intelligence operation to disrupt some sort of governance that was existing in the town before they entered.”
According to NBC News, Nuri Kino says around 1,500 people escaped into the city of Homs. Though they were not captured, they were far from doing well after fleeing the battlefield.
“People need medicine, they need water, they need food. The churches are overwhelmed with traumatized, scared villagers.”
Not much information is known of the whereabouts or conditions of the hundreds of people kidnapped by ISIS. It is unclear when more information may come available.
[Image via Pamela Gellar]