After 18 hours of non-stop fighting at Qurayteen, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has seized control of this ancient Syriac Christian city located inside the Homs Governorate’s eastern countryside after fierce clashes with the National Defense Forces (NDF) on Wednesday and Thursday.
Upon taking control of Qurayteen, the terrorist group forced the remaining residents living inside the city to march to the eastern outskirts, where certain civilians were then hand-selected by ISIS to march to an unknown location.
According to ground reports from civilians living in east Homs, over 30 residents of Qurayteen were taken into ISIS’ custody without any rhyme or reason given; this becomes the second time in two months that ISIS has kidnapped a large number of Syrian civilians – the first time being the kidnapping of over 100 civilians in the ancient city of Palmyra.
While, ISIS social media activists assert that they still control Qurayteen, local civilian activists report that the terrorist group has begun to withdraw from the city amid the relentless airstrikes from the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) that are currently pounding their positions.
Qurayteen is a historical Syriac Orthodox city located over 40 km from the provincial capital of Homs; it has been under constant attack by ISIS for two months.