RAQQA (ARA News) — The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Tuesday saved seven Christians from ISIS militants in Raqqa province.
The SDF-linked Syriac Military Council (MFS) said on Tuesday that the rescued civilians were from Syriac and Armenian origins, adding that they are originally from Raqqa city in northeastern Syria.
“Our forces have saved two Armenian families today,” said Mustafa Bali, Director of the Information Office of the SDF.
Saws Karabidian, a Christian woman who was among those rescued by the SDF, said: “They [ISIS] forced us to wear the headscarf and allowed us to reveal our faces to distinguish us from Muslims. We had to hide our faces to avoid insults.”
“We were forced to pay tribute by hand and we were humiliated and insulted, what a homeland that makes you pay an additional tax because you are different,” Karadij Karadjian, another Christian civilian who was rescued on Tuesday, told SDF fighters. “Today is a new birth for us.”
A small number of Christians lives in Raqqa city, however the majority of them fled when ISIS took over the city and moved to the Kurdish-held Hasakah province.
Over 200 fighters of the Syriac Military Council (MFS) now fight alongside other SDF factions in Western Raqqa to liberate the city from ISIS.
“Daesh [ISIS] are using civilians as human shields inside the city,” MFS fighter Alexi Chamoun told ARA News.
“Some civilians are fleeing and surrendering themselves to us, with them children and women. Daesh is known for it’s brutal actions and behavior,” he added.