Following yesterday’s takeover of the town of Qaryatain, in Syria’s central Homs Province, ISIS has reportedly captured some 230 civilians, including scores of Christians who were holed up in the nearby monastery.
Most of the civilians captured were just randomly caught during the exodus of residents from the town, with locals hoping to flee back into Assad government territory as ISIS gains in the region continue to mount. The fate of the captured civilians is unclear as yet.
The track record isn’t great, however, especially for the Christians. ISIS will at times release captured Sunni Muslims, and at other times send them into “reeducation” programs to try to convince them of the merits of their caliphate, but mass executions are also not unusual.
Qaryatain is southwest of the city of Tadmur, and is along a road leading into the Qalamoun Mountains along the Lebanon border. The capture of the town gives ISIS a chance to send forces into the border region, which has been contested for months.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Trump Lays Out National Security Strategy - December 18th, 2017
- US to Cut Some Somali Military Aid Over Misuse, Corruption - December 17th, 2017
- Sistani: Shi'ite Militias Should Remain as Part of Iraq's Security Services - December 17th, 2017
- Mounting Tensions Drive Arms Sales to Multi-Decade High - December 17th, 2017
- US Commandos Participate in Thousands of Afghan Ground Operations - December 17th, 2017