Islamic State (IS) militants are reported to be very close – within 3 kilometres – of the Syriac Orthodox town of Sadad in western Syria. The town has an ancient Christian heritage – it’s a place where remnants of Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, is still spoken.
“We are afraid that ISIS will conquer the town, which God will hopefully prevent. We would lose the centre of Christianity in our diocese,” said the archbishop of Homs, Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh. He added that more than 500 Christian fighters, joined by pro-government forces, have travelled from across Syria to prevent the town’s fall. Out of 15,000 original residents, only hundreds are left in the town, understood to be mainly defenders.
“The jihadists want to capture Sadad because it is a Christian town,” the Archbishop’s assistant, Rev. Luka Awad, said. “It is in every sense a centre of Christian heritage whose loss is unthinkable!”
The news about Sadad came from the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) . In another press release, AINA reported that 37 Assyrian Christians kidnapped nine months ago in Syria were recently released by IS.
They arrived on 9 November at the town of Tel Tamar. That still leaves 168 other Hassaka Christians, as well as 185 Assyrians abducted from the town of Qaryatain in western Syria’s Homs province in the first week of August.
Source: World Watch Monitor; AINA
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