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ICC Note: An Assyrian monastery that dates back to the 5th century has reportedly been destroyed by jihadist militants in Syria. The Mar Elian monastery was captured by ISIS fighters earlier this month, but new photos on social media show its near total destruction. Italian Priest Fr. Paola Dall’Oglio had led the renovations of the monastery a decade ago, he was kidnapped in 2013 and his fate remains unknown.

08/21/2015 Syria (AINA) Photos posted on ISIS social media sites show the destruction of Mar Elian monastery in Qaryatain, Syria, which is near Homs. Qaryatain fell to ISIS on August 6 (AINA 2015-08-07). An estimated 1,400 Syriac Orthodox and 400 Syriac Catholic Assyrians lived in Qaryatain before it fell to ISIS.

The Assyrian monastery was founded in the 5th century A.D. as a Syriac Orthodox Monastery. In the 17th century it became a Syriac Catholic monastery. It was renovated by the head of the ancient Mar Musa al-Habashi monastery, the Jesuit Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio, ten years ago.

Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio was kidnapped by ISIS In July, 2013. His fate is still unknown, although AINA’s sources say he was killed by a Saudi ISIS Jihadist upon capture.

ISIS has destroyed dozens of Assyrian churches in Syria and captured hundreds of Assyrians in the past year, as well as destroyed ancient Assyrian archaeological sites.

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