Headlines for weeks have been telling us that the Islamic State (ISIS) is practically defeated. Celebrations may be premature as evidence has surfaced that 116 civilians were murdered by ISIS in the Syrian Christian town of Al-Qaryatain during the three weeks they held control. Syrian forces retook the town on October 21st.
“ISIS has over a period of 20 days executed at least 116 civilians in reprisal killings, accusing them of collaboration with regime forces,” Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) chief Rami Abdelrahman said.
Still a threat
Though everyone from the President to much of mainstream media has been heralding the alleged collapse of ISIS in recent weeks, reports of their presence have continued to pop up. Perhaps more importantly is the fact that ISIS leadership has not been found while attempts to push for more terrorist activities in western nations has risen. On one hand, we know that the Islamic State surrendered their capital, Raqqa. On the other hand, we hear from the acting DHS chief that terrorists “want to take down aircraft” in 9/11-style attacks.
Now is not the time to get complacent. This battle is far from over.
“Most of the ISIS fighters who attacked the town a month ago were sleeper cells…. They are from the town, know the town’s residents and who is for or against the regime,” he said.
A Syrian government official told the Associated Press that it was a “shocking massacre” and that government forces are continuing the search for victims in the town.