By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife
DAMASCUS/BEIRUT (BosNewsLife)– Islamic State militants have released a video of how they shot to death three Christian hostages and threatened to execute hundreds more of the Syrian Christian minority abducted in February.
In the recently released Islamic State execution video the three Assyrian men, crouched in orange jumpsuits, are forced to state their Christian faith and names before being shot in the back of the head.
The group also threatened to kill the other Christians kidnapped in Syria unless it receives a ransom of $50,000 each for their release, some $10 million in total.
Militants gave no immediate deadline, but warned if the ransom isn’t paid, the remaining believers be executed.
Just before they were shot, the Christians identified themselves as Ashur Abraham of Tel Tamar village, Basam Essa Michael of Tel Shamiram village and Dr. Abdulmasih Enwiya of Jazira village.
After the shooting, three other Christians are shown kneeling in the sand behind the bodies of the just executed men and are made to recite their names.
With armed men standing nearby, one of the Christians then points to the human remains of fellow believers saying: “Our fate is the same as these if you do not take proper procedure for our release.”
The three men who were killed and the three who remained were part of a group of some 250 Assyrian Christians abducted by the Islamic State group in February when the militants pushed though the Khabur River Valley in Hassakah Province and attacked dozens of Assyrian villages.
Later, the group reportedly released 48 hostages through negotiations.
The recorded execution apparently took place September 23 during the Muslim holiday of “Festival of the Sacrifice,” according to Arabic-language news media.
These killings came just weeks after eleven Syrian Christian missionaries were killed by beheading and crucifixion near Syria’s war-torn city of Aleppo after they refused to deny their faith
in Jesus Christ, BosNewsLife learned.
The 12-year-old son of “a ministry team leader” was among those murdered last month by militants of the Islamic State group, missionaries confirmed earlier this week.
A mission director who trained the native Christian workers had urged them to flee the region, but they apparently refused to leave.
Thousands of Christians have fled Syria and neighboring Iraq amid an ongoing Islamic State campaign.
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