(AINA) -- On February 23 ISIS attacked 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur river in the Hasaka province in northeast Syria. More than 300 Assyrian civilians were captured, at least 9 Assyrian fighters were killed in the initial attacks, and it has been reported that ISIS has executed at least 12 Assyrian fighters who were captured, two of them women.
The majority of the Assyrians were captured from Tel Shamiran, Tel Hurmiz, Tel Goran and Tel Jazira. Nearly 3000 Assyrians have fled from the 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur river to Hasaka and Qamishli. There is a critical need for shelter for the refugees.
See attacks on Assyrians in Syria for more information.
Yesterday ISIS released 19 Assyrians who were captured from the village of Tel Goran.
After the initial attacks, an Assyrian fighter gave an impassioned plea to Assyrians for support and unity against ISIS. Here is his statement, made in a video posted on youtube. The fighter speaks in Assyrian. AINA has translated his statement to English.
My name is Orom from the city of Qamishli. I am a member of the Syriac Military Council, MFS.
We are now in the village of Mrghanna which lies in the opposite direction of Tel Hurmiz.
Tel Hurmiz is currently under the control of the extremists ISIS. They came with many men and weapons and control much of Khabur.
Currently we are as an Assyrian militia fighting together with YPG against ISIS. The extremists have very heavy weapons but we have killed many of them.
In Tel Hurmiz our militia gave a heavy response to ISIS when they entered the village. Our fighers fought bravely, which made our people proud. Our militia fought until the ammunition was exhausted. When the ammunition ran out our fighters retreated.
Now we are trying to take back our villages but the enemy has a lot of soldiers.
I have a call for all Assyrian and Christian people. Our peoples villages are being occupied and the women taken away. Until when will we stay like this? Until when will we stay in the Diaspora?
Every Assyrian must come back to his homeland and defend his people. No one can defend us but ourselves.
Our martyrs have become a call for every Assyrian and Christian to fight back and defend all of Mesopotamia.
At the 2:55 mark the video shows the village of Tel Hurmiz and a voice says "This is the village of Tel Hurmiz."