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25 February 2015
Children stand near mortar shells in the center of the Syrian town of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab) after it was freed from ISIS. After its defeat in Kobani, ISIS has now turned its attention to the city of Hassake.
(photo: Esber Ayaydin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
There is no word about the fate of the scores of Syrian Christians — including women and children — taken into custody by ISIS the last few days.
“The situation is not yet clear,” said CNEWA’s Michel Constantin in an interview with the Catholic newswire, Aleteia. “There were around 150 persons who were kidnapped. Among them, 14 or 15 are children and women. Others are elderly, and others are young persons. This is not very precise because the conflict is still going on.
“ISIS militants are still holding some of the villages; others are under attack.”
Mr. Constantin, who as regional director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt coordinates CNEWA’s emergency response in Syria and Iraq, added that those who fled their homes sought safety in Hassake, a city of 188,000 people now surrounded by ISIS:
“The attention now is on the city of Hassake itself. The city is surrounded by ISIS militants, and the rural area around the city is all occupied by those fanatics. The people inside Hassake are afraid of a concentration of militants inside the city, so people are very afraid.”
CNEWA, he added, is rushing aid to the displaced now hunkered down in the city. To learn how you can help, click here.
Follow this link to read the rest of Aleteia’s breaking interview with Michel Constantin.