In a series of raids into the predominantly Christian area of eastern Syria, IS forces kidnapped several hundred civilians, men, women and children. These are mainly Assyrian Christians, a small minority group that has been decimated over time by the depredations of the Muslims living around them. The Assyrians speak a dialect of Aramaic in their liturgy and like all Christian minorities in the Muslim world are under attack. Unfortunately the IS treats Christians very harshly, it is expected that they will execute all the men, probably by beheading them, will force the women into slavery, and will indoctrinate the children as Muslims. A similar fate occurred recently when 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians were beheaded in Libya by IS allies, and similarly with Syriac Christians in Iraq, who speak the Semitic language Syriac, that has all but died out under the pressure of Muslim Arabic.
But, in this case there is a difference. The Syriac minority have formed a defence force with Armenian Christians called the Sutoro militia that is allied with the Kurdish YPG and Pesh Merga forces fighting the IS. They are centred in the Syrian town of Kamishli. Although the Syriacs are a small minority, by aligning themselves with the Kurds, a very large minority, they are able to maintain control of their own area and have been able to push back the IS forces from their region.
What is disconcerting is that there is almost no active opposition in the West that is supporting these Christian minorities and taking up their fight. The West is paralysed by inaction and passivity, only bombing from the air. This can be mainly attributed to Pres. Obama’s failure to identify the enemy as Islamic and pull out the stops in opposing them. This is not Israel’s fight, but one would think that in the predominantly Christian West there would be enough public opinion to force the western countries to put “boots on the ground” against IS, which is the only way they will eventually be defeated. Meanwhile the IS are consolidating their position and destroying the culture of Syria and Iraq, by burning all books that are not Islamic and destroying statues from the ancient pre-Muslim past.