ICC Note: Syria’s Christian communities continue to flee for their lives as Islamic jihadists attempt to gain more ground in Syria. According to Bishop Yatron Koliana there are about 15,000 Assyrian Christian families remaining in Syria. Many have already fled to neighboring Lebanon which is hosting more than a million refugees and has attempted to close its borders to new flows into the country.
08/10/2015 Syria (Sputnik) Over 15,000 Assyrian Christian families remaining in Syria are at risk from the ongoing crisis, the Assyrian Church of the East in Lebanon bishop said Monday.
On Friday, ISIL jihadists abducted 230 Assyrian Christians in Homs province during an offensive to seize the town of Quaryatayn in a reprise of a similar kidnapping earlier this year.
“My personal sources say there are about 15,000 families left in Syria. Of course, they do not live in the villages captured by militants, but were able to temporarily relocate to nearby towns,” Bishop Yatron Koliana told RIA Novosti.
He said the resettled families still face uncertainty, but an estimated 3,500-strong Assyrian diaspora in Hasakah, Qamishi and Tall Tamr was able to accommodate an estimated 1,500 internally displaced families.
Koliana added that over 550 Christian refugees have received shelter in Lebanon since March before the government banned refugees entrance into the neighbouring country in May.