ISIS Kills 9, Injures 71 in Attacks on Syrian Christians

Hovsep Petoyan, pastor of the Armenian Catholic Community of Qamishli, Syria, was among nine killed when the Islamic State marked its first attacks against Christians in northeast Syria after the terrorists were declared officially defeated in March. Photo from Assyrian Monitor for Human Rights

The Islamic State (ISIS) is claiming responsibility for two attacks on Christians in northeast Syria that killed nine and wounded 71, as Christians continue to flee villages just outside a proposed safe zone at the Syria-Turkey border.

An Armenian priest and his father were killed and a deacon was wounded in a car bomb attack as they drove from Qamishli in northeast Syria Monday (Nov. 11), persecution watchdog International Christian Concern (ICC) and others reported. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the attack and obtained video footage, ICC said.

“Two Christian priests were killed today; ISIS shot them down,” ICC quoted a headline in the ISIS official Amaq news outlet.

Seven died and 70 were wounded in three car bomb explosions Monday near the Chaldean church in Qamishli, with ISIS also claiming responsibility, according to ICC and Asia News.

“Today’s violence in northern Syria and the targeting of Armenian leadership is a tragedy that deeply wounds the region’s entire Christian community,” Claire Evans, ICC regional manager for the Middle East, said Monday in a press release.

“Christians have long warned that ISIS will seek every opportunity to continue its genocide against religious minorities,” Evans said. “Meanwhile, Turkey’s actions in the area have generated an environment of instability. Armenian Christians, whose ancestors were killed in Turkey’s genocide, find themselves caught between violent actors across all of Syria.”

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Source: Baptist Press