This al-Qaeda attack specifically targeted Christians, as Mhardeh is a Christian town. This is just the latest cross that the Christians of Syria must bear, as they have been suffering for their faith for years now, and there has been no respite for them. While this was an al-Qaeda attack, ISIS also remains active in Syria, and in recent years many Orthodox Christians and other Christians have been driven from their homes, forcibly converted, otherwise persecuted, and even killed by ISIS. Meanwhile, a new UN report reveals that ISIS is resurgent and ready for war. Please continue to pray for the vulnerable and threatened Christians of Syria.
“10 Killed, 20 Wounded in Assault on Syrian Christian Town,” by Claire Evans, International Christian Concern, September 11, 2018:
09/11/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on September 7-8, 2018, several missiles were reportedly fired by al-Qaeda-linked rebels toward the predominately Christian town of Mhardeh, Syria. Reports indicate that the missiles carried cluster bombs, killing at least 10 civilians and seriously wounding at least 20 others.
The densely populated town of Mhardeh is controlled by the Syrian government, which has retaliated by attacking nearby towns as part of the build-up to the offensive against Idlib Province. The province is the last remaining stronghold controlled by the opposition.
Al-Masdar News reported, “Due to its proximity to the jihadist held towns in northern Hama, Mhardeh has been a prime target for groups like Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The jihadist rebels launch this attack this evening in response to the large scale buildup of Syrian army troops in northwest Syria.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the attack against Mhardeh was launched by a faction called Ansar al-Tawhid, which “caused a massacre of 10 casualties. They are: a mother, her 3 children, their grandmother, as well as 2 other sisters and 3 other people… Ansar al-Tawhid claimed responsibility of the operation of targeting Muhradah town, where reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that a four-wheel drive vehicle (4×4) with a missile launcher was noticed with another vehicle approaching a city controlled by the opposition, where it fired missiles targeting Muhradah town, then it withdrew from the area.” The Ansar al-Tawhid is connected to al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate.
Syrian Christians for Peace published a statement which “condemns the bombing of the town of Mahreda on the 7th and 8th of September of the year 2018. The bombardment of the city’s residents on both sides, the terrorist factions on the one hand and the Assad regime on the other, where the bombing resulted in the death of a large number of unarmed civilians, including children. This painful incident, leads to more sectarian incitement and leads to the break of human relations and the abolition of the foundations of citizenship among the people of Syria.”…