SYRIA: Qujsnaya village in Khabur, largely destroyed by ISIS in 2015 still abandoned

QUJSNAYA, Syria — During the 2015 Islamic State (ISIS) attack on the villages and towns of the Khabur River Valley, significant damage was caused to the homes and churches of the Syriac–Assyrian people.

SyriacPress correspondent based in Tel Tamr Ahmed Samila reported from Qujsnaya (Tel Demchej) on the condition of the village and its church.

ISIS destroyed much of the village whose population remains displaced.

The Church of Mor Yukhana (St John), built during the time of Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Mor Dankha Khanania IV, remains in a dismal state.

Samila reported he was not able to enter the church, but the windows were enough to deliver the echo of terrorism, through which the church’s furniture appeared lying on the ground. From the outside, graffiti and vandalism still mark the walls. For now, the church remains silent: no bells ringing, no believers performing their religious rituals.

Attempts to make the Khabur River Valley a canton for the Syriac (Assyrian-Chaldean-Aramean) people have so far remained unsuccessful.