It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. -- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Assyrians Largely Ignored By U.S. and Other Western Officials

The following excerpts are from

Someone should tell ISIS: The orange jumpsuits no longer draw the world's attention as they did a year ago when American journalist James Foley became one of the terror group's first victims to be executed on camera wearing one.
In early October, three men crouched in sand wearing the orange one-piece outfits--all Assyrian Christians from northeastern Syria. They were shown being shot in the head and killed in a video released by ISIS. Those living in the United States most likely didn't see the one-minute video clip. A few Arabic-language media outlets carried reports of the latest filmed execution and some showed the video, but in the United States no news outlets televised it, and only a few reported it at all.

Yet the footage is the first from ISIS, or Islamic State, of Syrian Christians being executed. It also carried threats of further killings against hundreds of Assyrian Christians who have been held hostage for months, according to the Assyrian Monitor for Human Rights.

With the camera rolling and a brisk wind flapping their sleeves, the three men kneeling in the sand said they were "Nasrani," a Muslim pejorative for Christians. They recited their names and hometowns: Ashur Abraha of Tel Tamar, Basam Essa Michael of Tel Shamiram, and Dr. Abdulmasih Enwiya of Jazira. Two gave their dates of birth. Three men wearing desert camouflage and black masks next stepped behind them, each raising a handgun to shoot each of the three Christians in the head. The victims' bodies slumped forward, and seconds later three more men appeared kneeling behind the dead men, the executioners pointing guns at their heads also.

As with the first segment, each hostage recited his name and hometown, but one of them--in what looks like a scripted gesture--pointed to the bodies on the ground and said, "Our fate is the same as these if you do not take proper procedure for our release." With that, the video ended.

The three killed and the three apparently left alive all are confirmed part of a group of 250 Assyrians abducted in February after Islamic State attacked about 35 villages along the Khabur River in Hasakah Province. ISIS killed at least 15 young Assyrian Christians in the attacks as they tried to protect the towns, and militants rounded up hundreds and took them hostage in the overnight raids--leaving 1,400 Assyrian families unable to return to their homes (see "One family's night flight from ISIS," March 5, 2015). ISIS released several dozen captives, mostly elderly, leaving about 180 still held.

At that time, church leaders reported American aircraft flew over the area but took no action.

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Assyrians Largely Ignored By U.S. and Other Western Officials

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