The Islamic State group in Syria has attacked Assyrian villages where hundreds of Christians were kidnapped last week.
Heavy clashes are reportedly taking place between Syriac Military Council, Kurdish forces and ISIS gangs that are carrying out intense mortar attacks on the villages of Tel Nasri, Tel Mkhaz, Tel Mazas,Tel Ruqba,Tel Hufyan, said the Syriac International News Agency.
Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana of the Christian Aid Program, based in Duhok, Iraq, reported that the main target is to control the strategic town of Tel Tamar, which is under the control of Kurdish and Assyrian fighters.
"Half of Tel Nasri has been occupied by IS. They controlled the hill. The Kurdish and Assyrian fighters are trying to push them out. Fights are ongoing," he said. "Tel Hafyan, Tel Maghas and Rakba are been occupied by IS."
He said that five Kurdish fighters have been killed, but there have been no casualties among Assyrian fighters.
"No news about the over 250 captured individuals," he said.
Osama Edwards, Sweden-based director of the Assyrian Network for Human Rights, told the Associated Press that Tal Tamr would give the Islamic State a corridor to the eastern border to Iraq.
Rima Tüzün, head of Foreign Affairs of the European Syriac Union, sent out an urgent alert calling for coalition airstrikes and international assistance for the besieged towns. The alert spoke of heavy weapons and troops streaming from Mount Abdulaziz for a "major assault on the enitre area," shelling of Tel Tamar and street fighting in Tel Nasari.
"Seventeen Syriac Military Council fighters are surrounded in Tel Maghasneh," she said. "Do not have weapons or even ammunition to repel ISIS."
She said that rumors of a prisoner rellease are false, possibly to lull the SMC into lower vigilance.