May 21, 2015
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — Church bells are ringing once again in the Assyrian Christian villages dotting the Khabur River in northeastern Syria after Islamic State militants were routed by a combination of forces.
It’s a stark contrast to the mounting concerns for one of the most renowned archaeological sites in the Middle East following the Islamic State militant sweep into the ancient Syrian city Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site. Some feared the extremists would hammer and bulldoze the revered antiquities site as they have done to archaeological areas in Iraq.
Palmyra’s capture marked the second military blow by the extremists in mid-May, following the fall of Ramadi, Iraqi. Some feared Islamic State militants might now possibly control half of Syria.