Syrian Christians Targeted Again by Islamic State
A suicide attack claimed by Islamic State (IS) near a church in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli shows that Christians remain a major target of the terror group, local officials and experts say. The car bombing, which took place Thursday near the Virgin Lady Church in Qamishli, left at least 12 people wounded, some in critical condition. It also damaged parts of the church.The terror group claimed responsibility for the attack through its online media.U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces declared victory over IS in March of this year, but SDF officials say the group still poses a threat to the local population.IS "has a large number of sleeper cells that can wage deadly attacks against civilians in our area, particularly Christians and other minorities," said Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of foreign relations in the SDF-led administration in northeast Syria. Losing all territory they once held means IS militants are more likely to plan and execute suicide attacks in areas under SDF control, Omar told VOA. Syrian Kurdish security forces lift the wreckage of a rigged car which detonated outside the Syriac Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in Qamishli in northeast Syria, July 11, 2019.When IS took control of large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq in 2014, it reinstated the jizya, an Islamic tax imposed on non-Muslims. Under that law, Christians were forced to pay monthly or yearly fees for living in IS-held territory.Many Christians were also forced either to convert to Islam or face ill-treatment from IS militants.Fear of future attacks Seeking protection, many Christians have aligned themselves with the U.S.-backed SDF. But still, some of them voice concerns about their future."No matter how stable the situation here gets, we always fear that [IS] and other terrorist groups are always prepared to attack us," said a 42-year-old Christian man from Qamishli whose female... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Syrian Christians Targeted Again by Islamic State, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Friday, 12 July
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