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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Up to 373 Assyrians Captured By ISIS, Executions Have Begun

The following excerpts are from

Hasaka, Syria (AINA) -- According to Assyrian leaders in Hasaka, the number of Assyrians captured by ISIS is as high as 373. There are 150 confirmed captives whose names are known. Various news agencies reporting today raised the number of captured Assyrians to 250.

Aid to the Church in Need is reporting that some of the captured Assyrians have been executed. The Aleteia news agency is reporting that up to 350 Assyrians may have been captured, and that executions have begun. Aleteia reports that 12 fighters from the Assyrian village of Tel Hurmiz, two of them women, have been executed by ISIS.

According to Assyrian fighters in Tel Tamar, ISIS has withdrawn from the Assyrian villages of Tel Goran, Tel Shamiran and Tel Jazira. But residents and fighters have not reentered the villages for fear of booby traps left by ISIS.

Assyrian sources in Hasaka say ISIS claims to have sent pictures of the captured Assyrians to the U.S. government with an ultimatum to stop airstrikes against them else all Assyrians will be killed.

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Up to 373 Assyrians Captured By ISIS, Executions Have Begun

ISIS Has Begun Executing Captured Assyrians, According to Report

The following excerpts are from

Islamic State militants have reportedly executed 15 Christians who have been captured in villages in northeastern Syria since Monday.

A priest who has been feeding reports to Christian aid agencies around the world, including Aleteia partner Aid to the Church in Need, said today that a Christian Assyrian lawyer in the city of Hassakah told him that about 15 young Assyrians "are martyred. Many of them were fighting to defend and protect the villages and families."

Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana of CAPNI, the Christian Aid Program in Iraq, said that in the Christian village of Tel Hormizd: 14 fighters, two of whom were women, were killed. One of the women may have been beheaded, he said. Another 13 fighters from different villages were captured.

Altogether, including civilians, as many as 350 Christians from the area have been captured, he reported--many more than the 70 originally reported. Their fate is unknown, and there is much speculation. He said that an unconfirmed report said that a mosque in the Arab Sunni village of Bab Alfaraj was calling people to attend a "mass killing of infidels in the mountain of Abdul Aziz on Friday."

Archimandrite Youkhana reported that none of the residents of one Christian village that the Islamic State attacked, Tel Shamiram, were able to escape. This village had 51 families, with an average of five persons per family, he said.

"There was fire exchange between the fighters protecting the village and IS terrorist group," the priest wrote. "It is believed there are casualties and many are Assyrians are been killed in the village. No news on the destiny of the families. Most probably they are been captured and transported to Mount Abdul Aziz, a nearby mount/region controlled by IS."

Other villages attacked included Tel Jazira, Tel Gouran, Tel Feytha, and Qabir Shamiya.

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ISIS Has Begun Executing Captured Assyrians, According to Report

As many of you already know, I was fired from my previous job back in January, as I told you in a previous post here. At the time, I did not want to go into the details of the reason I was given for being fired, so I will now. My former employer had told me, and the young lady that I worked with, that he was going to have to cut hours... Read more by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kurdish, Assyrian Forces Battle ISIS As Fate of 150 Reported Hostages Unclear

The following excerpts are from

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.

Hassakeh province, which borders Turkey and Iraq, has become the latest battleground for the fight against the terror group Islamic State, also known as ISIS. It is predominantly Kurdish, but also has populations of Arabs and predominantly Assyrian Christians and Armenians.

A Syrian Christian group representing several NGOs inside and outside Syria told Reuters it had confirmed at least 150 people missing -- including women and the elderly -- after the villages were overrun by ISIS.

"We have verified at least 150 people who have been abducted from sources on the ground," said Bassam Ishak, President of the Syriac National Council of Syria.

ISIS has not confirmed the kidnappings, but online, supporters have posted pictures of the group's fighters looking at maps and firing machine guns. The photos were purportedly taken in Tel Tamr, a town near where the abductions occurred, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

In pre-dawn attacks Monday, Islamic State militants raided communities nestled along the Khabur River. Thousands of others fled to safer areas.

The fate of those kidnapped, almost all of them Assyrian Christians, remained unclear on Wednesday -- two days after they were seized. The abduction added to fears among religious minorities in both Syria and Iraq, who have been repeatedly targeted by ISIS. During the group's bloody campaign in both countries, where it has declared a self-styled caliphate, minorities have been repeatedly targeted and killed, driven from their homes, had their women enslaved and places of worship destroyed.

The Assyrians are indigenous Christian people who trace their roots back to the ancient Mesopotamians.

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Kurdish, Assyrian Forces Battle ISIS As Fate of 150 Reported Hostages Unclear

Assyrian Hostages in Syria Are 'Safe', Says ISIS Member

An Assyrian woman and her children who fled from Tel Tamar because of the attacks by ISIS.
The following excerpts are from

Hasaka, Syria (AINA) -- ISIS attacked several Assyrian villages in Syria yesterday, killing 4 Assyrian guards and kidnapping more than 90 Assyrian men, women and children, and destroying at least 4 churches (AINA 2015-02-23). About half of the abducted Assyrians were brought to the Abdul Aziz mountain, while the remainder are held captive in their villages, Tel Shamiran and Tel Jazira.

The following are the names of the Assyrians kidnapped from the village of Tel Goran:

  • Yikhannis Adam
  • Michael Mirza
  • Elias Mirza
  • Abdo Mirza
  • Mirza Mirza
  • Wegram Mirza
  • Fabronia Mirza
  • Miryana Mirza (6 Years old)
  • Wegram Mirza (Unconfirmed)
  • George Ishmael
  • Ishmael Ishmael
  • Joseph Ishmael (Unconfirmed)
  • George Esho
  • Salem Dashto
  • Aweya Zaya
  • Joseph Zaya
  • Joel Zaya (Unconfirmed)
  • Tato Odisho
  • Jamil Odisho
  • George Odisho
  • Jamil Kolyat
  • Awiya Wegram
  • Joseph Esho
  • Najma Youkhanna
  • Mirza Khaya (Unconfirmed)
  • 5 unnamed women

AINA spoke by telephone to Matthew*, an Assyrian in Hasaka, who said that his very close friend Nabil*, a Muslim Arab, expressed sorrow and sympathy for the kidnapped Assyrians. According to Matthew, Nabil is not a member of ISIS but he knows many local Syrians who have joined ISIS. Nabil said he would make inquiries. Nabil called two local Arabs who are members of ISIS and inquired about the condition of the Assyrian hostages. The local ISIS members said the hostages are "safe" and in "good condition" and will be released within a few days.

But given the history of the brutality of ISIS, Matthew said he doubts the hostages would be released.

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Assyrian Hostages in Syria Are 'Safe', Says ISIS Member

Assyrians Captured By ISIS Now At 150, Negotiations for Their Release in Progress

Killed fighting ISIS, from left: Julian Osi, Marius Hurmiz, Joseph Afeh, Haysam.

The following excerpts are from

Hasaka, Syria (AINA) -- The number of Assyrians captured by ISIS in yesterday's attacks is now estimated to be at 150. ISIS attacked the 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur river in Hasaka, Syria, killing at least 4 Assyrians guards who were defending their villages. There has been fierce fighting since yesterday between ISIS and Assyrian and Kurdish militia. Up to 130 ISIS members have been killed.

Negotiations to free some of the hostages are ongoing. Prominent Arab Sheiks in Hasaka are acting as intermediaries between ISIS and Assyrian leaders. The Sheiks are pushing ISIS to at least release the Assyrians who did not fight. According to sources in Hasaka, ISIS has agreed in principle to release those Assyrians who offered no resistance but flatly rejected releasing those who fought back.

The group of Assyrians that may be released is believed to be being held in Abdul Aziz Mountain, approximately 60 kilometers from the Assyrian villages where they were captured. This group of Assyrians is from the villages of Tel Goran, Abu Tina and Tel Jazira.

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Assyrians Captured By ISIS Now At 150, Negotiations for Their Release in Progress

Assyrian American Bishops Send Letter to Kerry Regarding ISIS Attacks on Assyrians

The following excerpts are from

(AINA) -- The Synod of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East has sent a letter to John Kerry, the United States Secretary of State, regarding the ISIS attacks on Assyrian villages and the capture of 150 Assyrians (AINA 2015-02-23).

Here is the text of the letter:

Dear Secretary Kerry:

The atrocities very recently committed against the Assyrian Christians of the Khabur region in northeast Syria prompt us to write to your good offices in order to bring to your attention the urgency of the present situation. As the diocesan bishops of the Assyrian Church of the East in the United States, we would like to bring to the attention of the Obama Administration the sufferings and plight of our Assyrian Christians, which we have all witnessed taking place in broad daylight, early Monday morning. In our very own day, another holocaust is taking place in history, but this time against the Christian population of Syria by ISIL....

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Assyrian American Bishops Send Letter to Kerry Regarding ISIS Attacks on Assyrians

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The heart of Egypt moved and devastated - Asia News

The following excerpts are from

Cairo (AsiaNews) - The heart of Egypt has been both moved and devastated by the horrific beheading of 21 Egyptian citizens in Libya at the hands of jihadist allies of the Islamic State group (Daesh).

Yesterday and today, every newspaper in the country dedicated its front-page to the massacre, with titles in black and the pictures of all 21 victims, kneeling on the beach just before they were beheaded. Inside pages were full of commentaries and feature articles on the tragedy.

Although Daesh boasted of killing of Christians, in Egypt, the victims are seen primarily as Egyptians. To commemorate them, the government has decreed seven days of national mourning.

Yesterday, President Sisi personally met with Coptic Patriarch Tawadros, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church and patriarch of Alexandria, to offer official condolences. Egypt's National Defence Council, chaired by the president, has been meeting for days to determine how to deal with the situation.

President Sisi announced that the 21 Egyptians killed in Libya are true "martyrs", like their fellow citizens recently killed in the Sinai. He also said that each family would receive 100,000 Egyptian pounds (about US$ 13,000), plus a regular pension and medical care for every member.

The victims came mostly all from villages in Upper Egypt and had emigrated to Libya to earn some money to get married or support their families back home.

Tawadros was joined by Al-Azhar University in denouncing "the awful crime." Shaykh Ahmad al-Tayeb, head of Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni authority, as well as the Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawqi 'Allam stressed that Islam and the heavenly religions do not justify such crimes. The Coptic patriarch noted that the nation would not rest until the criminals were punished.

Meanwhile, the families of the victims, from different villages in Minya (Middle Egypt), have been demanding that the bodies of their loved ones be returned for burial.

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EGYPT - LIBYA - ISLAM The heart of Egypt moved and devastated - Asia News

Why is Egypt Doing More to Protect Middle Eastern Christians Than Obama? | FrontPage Magazine

The following excerpts are from Frontoage Mag:

Obama’s illegal Libyan regime change war allowed Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood and its assorted terrorist allies, including ISIS, to take over major parts of the country.

The brutal murders of Christians stemmed from Obama’s war.

Now Egypt has responded to the ISIS beheading of Coptic Christians by bombing ISIS targets in Libya. Meanwhile Obama, who caused this whole mess, put out the usual statement claiming that the Islamist murder of Christians had nothing to do with Islam.

Egyptian warplanes struck hard at ISIS militants in neighboring Libya a day after a sickening video surfaced showing the terror army’s black-clad militants beheading 21 Coptic Christians, footage that prompted Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi to vow revenge in an address to the world’s most populous Arab nation.

Let those far and near know that Egyptians have a shield that protects them,” it said.

Egypt’s record on the treatment of Christians has been rather poor even under Mubarak and they are nowhere near to equal citizens, but nonetheless Egypt is doing more to protect Middle Eastern Christians than the United States.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Starnes: Moral Cowardice: WH Won't Call Latest Victims of Islamic Radicals 'Christians' - Fox Nation

The following excerpts are from

It was another weekend of bloodletting by the radical followers of Mohammed. By now you've seen the images - 21 Coptic Christians - slaughtered on a Libyan beach by radical Islamic extremists.

The White House denounced what they called the "murder of Egyptian Citizens" -- not Christians -- citizens. The president could not even summon the moral courage to speak the truth.

They're called Christians, sir.

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Pope denounces slayings of Egyptian Copts by Islamic State: 'assassinated for being Christian' | Fox News

The following excerpts are from

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has denounced the slaying by the Islamic State of Egyptian Copts in Libya, saying they were "assassinated just for being Christian."

Francis spoke off-the-cuff Monday during an audience with a Scottish ecumenical delegation. He said: "They only said 'Jesus help me ...' The blood of our Christian brothers is testimony that cries out. Be they Catholic, Orthodox, Copts, Lutherans, it doesn't matter: They're Christian!"

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Pope denounces slayings of Egyptian Copts by Islamic State: 'assassinated for being Christian' | Fox News

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Iraqi Kurds Call for Foreign Ground Troops in Anti-Islamic State Fight

The following excerpts are from

(AP) -- A senior Iraqi Kurdish official on Wednesday called for greater support in the battle against the Islamic State group, including with foreign troops, saying the Kurds are "alone" in the fight.

Fouad Hussein, chief of staff to Kurdish President Massoud Barzani, said the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes are helpful but "to finish ISIS... you need to finish it on the ground. And on the ground, we are most of the time alone. So we need partners."

"It means advisers, it means special forces, it means a collective fight against ISIS, it means equipment, it means munitions," Hussein said.

Though IS fighters have been forced to retreat from Kobani, the strategic town on Syria's border with Turkey, the battlefield picture suggests they are far from beaten in northern Iraq, where harsh winter weather and thick mud underfoot hampers military moves.

The Kurdish peshmerga fighters have struggled for months to inch ahead, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, which began in northern Iraq.

Several coalition countries have provided arms to the Kurdish forces but many of those weapons have not yet been delivered to soldiers because most require additional training.

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Iraqi Kurds Call for Foreign Ground Troops in Anti-Islamic State Fight

ISIS Blows Up Church of Immaculate Virgin in Mosul

Church of the Immaculate Virgin in Mosul, Iraq

The following excerpts are from

According to Rudaw, an Iraqi news agency, on February 2, security sources from the Ninevah police district said that the Islamic State blew up the Church of the Immaculate Virgin--one of the largest and oldest Chaldean churches in the ancient section of Mosul.

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ISIS Blows Up Church of Immaculate Virgin in Mosul