IS Killed 21 Christians in Qaryatain

IS Killed 21 Christians in QaryatainIS Killed 21 Christians in Qaryatain

Reports are emerging of the killing of Syrian Christians by the self-styled Islamic State militants in the town of al-Qaryatain. The town was retaken by Russian-backed Syrian forces and their allies earlier in the week. Some 21 Christians were murdered when almost 300 Christians remained in the city after IS captured it last August, said the head of the Syrian Orthodox Church. They included three women, Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II told the BBC. But despite the murders, he said restoring harmony among faiths remained his goal. “We lived this situation for centuries, we learned how to respect each other, we learned how to live with each other,” said the patriarch. “We can live together again, if we are left alone by others.” The town is now utterly devastated, with street after street and building after building, including a 1,500-year-old Catholic monastery, in ruins. Coaches laid on by the Syrian government have been bringing thousands of residents back to al-Qaryatain and the nearby city of Palmyra.