ISIS Abducts Christians to Use as 'Bargaining Chips'


Arab media reports:

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants have abducted hundreds of civilians, including dozens of Christians, from a central Syrian town it captured earlier this week, activists say, a development that has prompted hundreds of Christian families to flee to areas outside the control of the ultra-radical group.

Syria-based activists who monitor the group’s activity in the country said on Friday ISIS kidnapped more than 220 residents from Qaryatain after overrunning the town that is located in the central province of Homs earlier this week.

…ISIS accuses the 220 civilians of “collaborating with the [Syrian] regime but the primary goal of the abduction is to use them as a bargaining chip,” an activist who goes by the nom du guerre Abu Muhammad told Asharq Al-Awsat.


According to the report, at least 60 Christians have been kidnapped. The town of Sadad, home to roughly 5,000 Christian families, is reported to be the next target of the radical Islamic terror regime. The Christians of Sadad have already started to flee to Damascus and other safe havens in Syria.

What’s more, the Christians who do live under ISIS domination do so according to Islamic law:

There are around 30 Christian families living in Raqqa city, ISIS’s main stronghold in Syria, Abu Muhammad said. “But they pay the jizya [a tax levied on non-Muslims] in exchange for permission to stay,” he said.

Male and female members of the Christian families in Raqqa are forced to adhere to a strict dress code which ISIS deems in line with Islam.

According to the report, Christian leaders from Sadad have appealed to foreign leaders for assistance in protecting their town. It’s just a shame they couldn’t tweet their request to the candidates in time for last week’s debates. As it is, given the complete lack of coverage in the mainstream media, the likelihood of aid being sent is slim to none.



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