Islamic State soldiers have reportedly killed “scores” of people, including women and children, in Qaryatayn, a town that was once predominantly Christian.
Syrian troops recaptured the city over the weekend, but found that ISIS had killed many civilians.
“These are people who don’t know God, they don’t know anything. They killed children and women with knives, they beat women, broke their arms,” a town resident said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
It’s unclear how many were killed. The Associated Press said 67 were killed, while Homs province Governor Tala Barazi told Reuters that “more than 60 were dead” and more than 100 are missing. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said some 128 people were killed.
Abdullah AbdulKarim, a former resident of the city, said the latest slaughter was revenge killing. His own uncle and two of his cousins were shot.
“They came into town with a hit list,” he said, adding that soldiers went door to door for weeks looking for people.
According to International Christian Concern, Qaryatayn was a predominantly Christian town until about 2015 when ISIS first captured the city.
The town has been recaptured and taken back between Syrian and ISIS forces many times. The town was finally recaptured again by ISIS earlier this month.