Tuesday, March 31, 2015

al-Nusra Kidnapps Fr Ibrahim Farah in Idlib

Arabic original here

The head of the Evangelical Church in Aleppo, Fr Ibrahim Nusayr, has confirmed to el-Nashra that Jabhat al-Nusra has kidnapped the Orthodox priest Fr Ibrahim Farah in Idlib: he is the only priest to have remained in the city. Sources exclusive to el-Nashra tell of cries of "Allahu akbar" in the mosques of Idlib, calling on Christians to pay the jizya or leave.

Two members of the al-Khal family, a father and son, liquor sellers, have also been killed.

Sources indicate that a large number of Idlib's Christians have fled to Mhardeh, Ariha, and Banyas, while some have refused to leave and have announced their intention to remain in their land.

Arabic original here.

Reports state that a Syrian priest and some of his flock have been captured after forces from the Islamic opposition backed by countries of the Gulf were able to take control of the city of Idlib near the Turkish border on Saturday.

The reports indicate that Fr Ibrahim Farah, one of the few priests of Idlib, was captured along with part of his small flock by Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian wing of al-Qaeda, and that the prisoners are waiting to appear before the shari'a court in Idlib, which before the conflict began in 2011 has only a few hundred Christians.

By taking Idlib, which is in the province of the same name, Islamist extremists now control a second Syrian province after Raqqa, stronghold of ISIS, which is being targeted by air raids led by the United States.

Sunni Islamist groups have formed an alliance including Jabhat al-Nusra, the extremist Ahrar al-Sham movement and Jund al-Aqsa, however this alliance does not include ISIS, which is the chief competitor of these groups which are supported by the countries of the Gulf and Turkey.

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