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Islamic State destroys historic Syrian monastery—monitor

PHOTO: www.timesofisrael.com

PHOTO: www.timesofisrael.com

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday, Islamic State forces had destroyed an historic monastery in central Syria, where the extremist militia has consolidated its presence in recent weeks.

The militants used bulldozers to destroy the 5th century Mar Elian monastery in the strategic town of al-Qaryatain in Homs province on Thursday.

Islamic State forces seized al-Qaryatain from Syrian government troops earlier this month.
The Observatory also said that Islamic State had moved dozens of Christians captured in al-Qaryatain, to the group’s stronghold in the north-eastern Syrian province of al-Raqqa.

The radical group would ask the Christian captives either to convert to Islam or pay a non-Muslim tax, the watchdog said.
Islamic State is notorious for mass abuses against minority communities in Syria and neighbouring Iraq, where it rules vast amounts of territory.



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