Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem (R) speaks during a joint news conference with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian in Damascus May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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Kurdish forces have driven ISIS from more than a dozen Assyrian Christian villages that the jihadis had captured in northeastern Syria, a monitor said Wednesday.Assyrian Christians, who are from one of the world's oldest Christian communities, have been under increasing threat since ISIS seized control of large parts of Syria.Thousands of Christians fled an assault by the jihadis in the northeastern province of Hassakeh in February after a spate of kidnappings by ISIS, which is still holding 210 Assyrians hostage.Assyrians number about 30,000 among Syria's 1.2 million Christians and mostly live in 35 villages in Hassakeh, all of which are now held by Kurdish or regime forces.Over the course of 20 days, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) seized control of 4,000 square kilometers of territory from ISIS in Hassakeh province, Abdel-Rahman said.The Observatory said ISIS had since executed at least 217 people, including 67 civilians, in and around the city.Baghdad is coordinating with U.S. forces to combat ISIS.
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