ISIS Enters Assyrian Town in Syria, Removes Church Cross
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The church in Tel Hormizd, Syria and the cross that was removed from it by ISIS.
Tel Hormizd, Syria (AINA) -- Two pickups carrying twenty armed members of ISIS entered the Assyrian town of Tel Hormizd in Hassaka, Syria yesterday and forced the residents to remove the cross from the church tower. The town is located on the Khabur river, in the Assyrian section of Hassaka which contains thirty five Assyrian villages.

According to residents of Tel Hormizd, the ISIS group arrived at about 2 PM and ordered the residents to remove the cross. The ISIS leader threatened to bomb the church if the cross was not removed. The residents had no way to defend themselves and complied with the order.

This attack marks the fourth time that Tel Hormizd has been attacked (AINA 2013-07-30). Three Assyrian men were kidnapped by ISIS in Hasaka in October, 2014 (AINA 2014-10-02).

Photo of ISIS members in Tel Hormizd, Syria. ISIS forced the Assyrian residents to remove the cross from the church.

Attacks have also occurred in other Assyrian areas and on individuals. The Assyrians of Al-Thawra were driven out by the Al-Nusra front (AINA 2013-08-02).

Assyrians have also been kidnapped and murdered. Two Assyrians were killed in a bombing on January 22 (AINA 2015-01-23). In September, 2013 an Assyrian man, Ninar Odisho, was murdered by Muslims in Al-Thawra for being a Christian (AINA 2013-09-23).

ISIS has also targeted the cultural heritage of Assyrians in Syria. In May, 2014 ISIS destroyed 3000 year-old Assyrian archaeological artifacts (AINA 2014-05-17).

The continuing attacks on Assyrians in Syria by ISIS and other Muslims groups has forced the Assyrians to leave the country (AINA 2014-07-31, 2014-04-28).

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