Christian beheads jihadist in Syria revenge killing: monitor
Beirut (AFP) - A Syrian Christian fighter has beheaded an Islamic State group (IS) militant to avenge people "executed" by the jihadists in northeastern Syria, a monitor said on Friday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the incident took place on Thursday in Hasakeh province, where IS holds large areas of the countryside.
According to the monitor, the Christian fighter, a member of the minority Assyrian community, found the jihadist in the local village of Tal Shamiram.
"He took him prisoner and when he found out he was a member of IS, the Assyrian fighter beheaded him in revenge for abuses committed by the group in the region," Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The Observatory is based in Britain but has covered the Syrian conflict since it broke out four years ago thanks to a network of sources inside the country.
The Christian was fighting in the ranks of Kurdish forces who earlier this month drove IS out of more than a dozen Assyrian villages the jihadists had captured in Hasakeh.
IS has carried out a wave of abuses in areas it controls in both Syria and Iraq, including public beheadings, mass executions, enslavement and rape.
Only Agence France-Presse had information about the beheaded jihadist. The incident happened Thursday in the Hasakeh province, a monitor with the Syrian Observer for Human Rights revealed.
The terror group has a strong foothold in the countryside in that area of the country.
This monitor said the Christian man was a member of the Assyrian minority and had been fighting with Kurdish forces; they’ve driven the Islamic State from a dozen local villages.
The beheaded fighter was found in a village called Tal Shamiram, the Observatory Chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
“He took him prisoner and when he found out he was a (jihadist), the Assyrian fighter beheaded him in revenge for abuses committed by the group in the region.”As reported frequently in the media, the Islamic State is known for perpetrating numerous cruelties on civilians as it takes control of areas in Syria and Iraq — they’ve beheaded countless people, and committed mass executions, enslavement, and rape, AFP added.
News about the beheaded jihadist has come out mere days after the world was introduced to American Matthew VanDyke, who has made it his mission to train and arm Christian people in Iraq.
He claims they’ve been abandoned by the U.S. government and are under great threat in a nation quickly being swarmed by ISIS, PRI reported.
“Currently, the Christians [are] the only group that has no ability to defend themselves. And they will be wiped out in this fight if they’re not quickly trained, equipped and given the abilities to defend their lands. It’s not a religious mission. We’re working with Iraqi Christians because they’re highly motivated. They have good morale. They have good aptitude for doing this. They’ve suffered a lot. They’re been persecuted for a long time.”VanDyke has run the Sons of Liberty International in northern Iraq since December. The SOLI are training a couple thousand Christian men who’ve formed a militia called the Nineveh Plains Protection Unit. Their mission is to protect their land, the Christian Post added.
Matthew seems qualified to help them: He’s a Georgetown graduate, has a degree in Middle East Security Studies, and fought with rebels in Libya to remove Muammar Gaddafi. After he was wounded, captured and held for six months, he escaped and went back on the front lines.
Though the U.S. State Department has denied involvement, VanDyke claims they’ve endorsed SOLI. At the very least, they haven’t stopped him.
Funded by public donations, SOLI is on the lookout for more members; 300 Americans have applied, but only eight of them accepted.
“We give people around the world an opportunity to have a tangible impact on fighting ISIS, rather than just retweeting something or clicking ‘like’ on Facebook. They can make a donation to the fight and have their dollars actually contribute to bringing about the end of ISIS.”