Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note:

ISIS fighters are rapidly retreating in what some are billing as their last stand in Eastern Syria. However, others express caution as they recall the many years of damage caused by ISIS before they took Mosul. While the exact numbers vary, ISIS is responsible for displacing hundreds of thousands of individuals. The persecution of Christians at the hands of ISIS was a consequence of the militant’s desire to erase Christianity from the Middle East. The retreat of ISIS, while something to be praised, does not guarantee that Christians are now safe from the militants.

09/09/2017 Syria (The Guardian) – After losing their stranglehold on Deir ez-Zor and being pushed further from their stronghold of Raqqa, Islamic State fighters have retreated towards the Euphrates river to prepare for what some senior leaders are now billing as a last stand in eastern Syria.

Dozens of Isis members have fled to towns and villages along the Euphrates valley after abandoning Deir ez-Zor, where their forces had besieged a Syrian military base and up to 100,000 local people for the past three years.

The city was retaken earlier in the week by forces fighting on behalf of the Assad regime, including Iraqi militia units, Hezbollah from Lebanon, and the Syrian military itself.

The rapid entry into the desert city marked another defining moment in the multi-pronged war against the terror organisation which has seen it lose vast tracts of territory over the past year and face the prospect of comprehensive defeat in both Syria and Iraq.

In Raqqa to the north, where US-backed Kurdish forces have taken the Old City, Isis resistance to a relentless sweep south from north-eastern Syria has continued to evaporate. At least 60% of the city – 14 out of 23 neighbourhoods – is now under the control of advancing forces who expect the rest of Raqqa to be taken within the next two months.

The speed of the assault in both cities continues to highlight the sharp decline in Isis’s fortunes, laying bare its increasing inability to fight as a large cohesive unit, and forcing it back to its roots as a guerrilla organisation. “They are very good at underground war,” said Hisham al-Hashimi, an Iraqi-based scholar on the terror group. “Let’s not forget the damage they caused for many years before they took Mosul.”

[Full Story]