Hassaké (Agenzia Fides) - The number of Christians in the villages of the valley of Khabur captured by the jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) in the northeastern Syrian province of Jazira increases. According to updates by Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, ordinary of the Syrian Catholic Archieparchy in Hassaké-Nisibis, more than 250 Assyrian and Chaldean inhabitants of the villages appear to be in the hands of the jihadists, and were deported by them towards their strongholds in the Sheddadi area, 40 km south of Hassaké.
"From there - refers Archbishop Hindo - unconfirmed rumors say that the jihadis are celebrating. We are trying to open up channels of negotiation through Arab Muslim leaders in contact with some sheikh. We are concerned about the fate of the hostages, among whom there are many elderly people, many women and children".
The Archbishop does not confirm rumors concerning murders and rapes committed by jihadists against the Christian populations, and raises questions about the raids carried out by international contingents against the positions of the Islamic state in Syria. "Before - refers to Fides Mgr. Hindo - we heard the planes at about three in the morning. In the past four days air operations have been suspended. I wonder why". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 26/02/2015)