Special to WorldTribune.com
Human rights activists fear Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) is preparing to execute the remaining Christians in the terror group’s Syrian stronghold at Raqqa.
Syrian activists say ISIL has “issued a new decision” to block any Christians or Armenians from leaving its self-declared capital. The activists said about 25 Christian families still live in the city.
The activist group “Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently” said on its website that ISIL “looks at Christians as infidels loyal to the West more than their loyalty to their homeland.”
The terrorist organization has forced out hundreds of thousands of Christians, threatening the existence of a religion that has endured in the region for 2,000 years.
ISIL jihadists have destroyed buildings and ruins that hold historic and cultural significant for Christians in the Middle East. They have defaced or ruined ancient monuments in Nineveh, Palmyra and Hatra. Museums and libraries have been looted, books burned, and artwork and relics destroyed or looted and sold on the black market.
In January, satellite images showed how St. Elijah’s Monastery, south of Mosul, was reduced to a field of rubble by ISIL jihadists. The monastery, the oldest in Iraq, had survived for more than 1,400 years.
ISIL’s decree preventing Christians from leaving Raqqa came just days after the terrorists were driven out of the ancient city of Palmyra by Assad regime forces backed by Russian airstrikes.
Analysts said the victory of Palmyra and capture of its military airport, in the central Syrian desert, opens the way further east to Deir al-Zor province and Raqqa.