Assyrian Hostages in Syria Are ‘Safe’, Says ISIS Member
Assyrian International News Agency – 2015-02-24 – An Assyrian woman and her children who fled from Tel Tamar because of the attacks by ISIS.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 Jabal Abdul Aziz area, 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:
Joel Zaya / Aweya Zaya / Joseph Zaya / Najma Youkhana / Tato Odesho / Jorej Odesho / Jamil Odesho / Jamil Kolyat / Joseph Ishmael / Ishmael Ishmael / Abdo Mirza / Wegram Mirza / Mirza Khaya / Aweya Wegram / 5 unnamed women / 1 girl aged 6
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.
Assyrian woman describes flight from Tel Tamar
In a a video posted of facebook, an Assyrian women describes the events of yesterday morning and how she fled from Tel Tamar to Qamishli. Here is the transcript:
We fell asleep in total quiet, nothing was going on. We woke up to the sound of clashing, we didn’t know what it was, until we saw that everyone in the village was fleeing because ISIS had entered the village. We heard that in Tel Shamiran they had seized the women and taken them up to the mountain, and they did the same thing in Tel Jazira. We tried calling them, there was no response. They [ISIS] went into Tel Hurmiz and killed people there, even young men. We didn’t understand what had happened fully, but there was so much fear in our hearts that we didn’t even know how to escape. In the south [of the village] even old men and women were fleeing. All the roads were closed, there wasn’t a single car. No one could help us. We called some people in Qamishli who came to get us, who came to Zumar after Tel Tamar. People were running with house clothes on.
Question: Did they have enough space in the cars?
Yes, no one remained in the village. The men remained and ushered the women and children, and they still remain there, fighting. Let us see when this war will end and we can return to our homes
Question: When did you arrive here?
We left at 8 in the morning, all the phones were ringing. I don’t know what time it was, the world was lost on us. By the time we were ready to flee, there wasn’t even a route available for us to take, they were all full. It was like that.