Acton Institute Powerblog

Message from an Assyrian Christian Fighter

Share this article:
Join the Discussion:

The fate of more than 200 Assyrian Christians kidnapped by ISIS in northern Syria remains unknown (19 have been released), but fears of “a slaughter of major proportions” are well founded. The Assyrian International News Agency posted a plea from an Assyrian Christian fighter with the picture you see above from the front lines of the battle against ISIS.

In Tel Hurmiz our militia gave a heavy response to ISIS when they entered the village. Our fighers fought bravely, which made our people proud. Our militia fought until the ammunition was exhausted. When the ammunition ran out our fighters retreated.

Now we are trying to take back our villages but the enemy has a lot of soldiers. I have a call for all Assyrian and Christian people. Our peoples villages are being occupied and the women taken away. Until when will we stay like this? Until when will we stay in the Diaspora?

Every Assyrian must come back to his homeland and defend his people. No one can defend us but ourselves. Our martyrs have become a call for every Assyrian and Christian to fight back and defend all of Mesopotamia.

AINA also said that “it has been reported that ISIS has executed at least 12 Assyrian fighters who were captured, two of them women.”

In Foreign Policy, the article “Syria’s Christians Fight Back” places the Assyrians within the larger Christian population:

Assyrians, an ethnic minority, represent one small faction of prewar Syria’s 1.8 million Christian population. The Syrian government, to the exasperation of Assyrians, has never regarded the Assyrians as a separate ethnicity, instead classifying them as Arab, while Assyrians consider themselves a separate ethnic group with roots in the region dating back more than 4,000 years. Their identity is closely associated with Christianity, the faith Assyrians have followed since shortly after the religion’s beginning. Historically oppressed and underrepresented in political life, the Assyrians in northern Syria have armed themselves in an effort to protect their identity amid the chaos of civil war.

John Couretas John Couretas is Director of Communications, responsible for print and online communications at the Acton Institute. He has more than 20 years of experience in news and publishing fields. He has worked as a staff writer on newspapers and magazines, covering business and government. John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Humanities from Michigan State University and a Master of Science Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University.


  • Shootist

    Who remembers the Armenians? Just another example of Muslim genocide

    • richard40

      Before you declare all Muslims evil though, keep in mind that the Kurds, who are acting as these Christians best allies and defenders against ISIS, are also Muslims.

      • Shootist

        The Kurds are mostly Sunni, although it is widely said by other Sunni that “Kurds are Mohammedans compared to Infidels.” Kurds are not Arabs, being more closely related to the non-Arab Persians. Persians are Shiites. Persia and Iraq were conquered before 700 AD, by Arabs loyal to the early Caliphates before the Sunni/Shiite division solidified.

      • Shootist

        The Kurds are mostly Sunni, although it is widely said by other Sunni that “Kurds are Muslims compared to Infidels.”

    • SY

      750,000 Assyrian christians died during the armenian genocide

  • HughdePayens

    All Christians will soon be fighting…the time is close when we will all be challenged. My prayers go out to the Assyrians who are facing the monster right now.

  • mk

    Someone should figure out a way to send these people more ammo. Again and again one hears of them, or the Kurds, retreating when they run out of ammunition. The ubiquitous weapon of the region is the AK-47 and its clones. Ammunition for the AK-47 can be had in the free world. People who support these anti-ISIS fighters should organize a way to ship such ammunition to these fighters.

  • Report: Bishop Mar Awa Royel leads the Assyrian Church of the East Diocese of California. He warned that immediate action must be taken to help Middle Eastern Christians before it’s too late.

    “We have a systematic destruction of the ancient Assyrians, if you will, through the artifacts, and also the modern Assyrians, modern Assyrian Christians,” Bishop Royel said. “And this leads us to believe that this is a plan that is very calculated, very systematic and I would add that, it could be defined as genocide,” he said.

    more >>>