Press release – Assyrians Without Borders

Press release 2015-02-25

In response to the mounting refugee crisis in Syria’s Khabour region, Assyrians Without Borders is stepping up its efforts to provide humanitarian support and calls for urgent emergency donations.

In the early morning hours of February 23, ISIS terrorists launched a massive attack on a number of important Assyrian villages along the Khabour River in Syria´s Al-Hassake region. The villages of Tel Shamiran, Tel Goran and Tel Hermez as well as 7 other villages in northern Khabour were captured by ISIS forces, its citizens – including many women and children – taken captive or else forced to abandon their homes in desperate flight.

All Assyrian villages in Khabour are emptied. We can confirm that the 45 families of Tel Shamiran are all captive and estimated to 200 villagers including women and children. 3 young women and 9 young men are captive in Tel Hermez while 23 villagers are captive in Tel Goran. 3 young men from Assyrian defence forces are confirmed dead. We can also confirm that the village of Tel Jazire has also been under siege. 92 persons were a few hours ago forced out of their homes that then were burnt down by ISIS. One man that refused to leave his home was burnt alive. Approximately 800 Assyrian families fled to Hassake and about 250 to Qamishli. Further 100 Assyrian families are is expecting to this villages. Many men stayed behind to defend their land and the rest of the Khabour area.

Given the desperate nature of the events unfolding, Assyrians Without Borders is in constant touch with its local partner organisations to ascertain the needs of the internally displaced people (IDPs) and determine how to best assist them in their plight.Assyrians Without Borders calls upon all of its donors and all those who fill compassion for fellowmen to fully support its emergency relief through generous donations.

Through our partner organisations, local efforts are already under way to provide heating, hygienic supplies, food and water for the displaced. We also call on the international community to provide this indigenous community its rightful protection.

The future and very existence of one of the last remaining concentrations of Assyrian settlement is under immediate threat – please show your solidarity and support!

Assyrians Without Borders is a leading Swedish non-profit humanitarian organisation providing emergency and long-term aid to the struggling Assyrian communities (also called Syriac and Chaldean) of the Middle East through its local partner organisations in the region.

For further information and requests please contact our press officer:

Per Hägglund
0046 (0)762 145 441