ALEPPO, Syria (Christian Examiner) – The much publicized report on the beheading of an Islamic militant by a Christian militia fighter in retaliation for the terrorist's actions against Syrian citizens is false, Bishop Georges Abou Khazen of Aleppo has said.
Khazen told the Fides Agency, which monitors Catholic news in the region, that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights report describing the incident was both "unreliable and unverifiable."
According to multiple newspapers, the Syrian Christian was said to have been fighting for Kurdish forces who drove Islamic State fighters from several Syrian villages in Al-Hassakah earlier in the month. When the ISIS militant surrendered, the militia member reportedly beheaded him in front of witnesses after making him dig his own grave.
But, according to the report from Bishop Khazen, the information provided to western news outlets was nothing more than "rumor."
"The manipulation of information is also one of the means used to multiply the violence and horrors of this conflict," Khazen said. "We Christians do not justify any revenge or violence with religious issues. The only revenge we know is forgiveness, in order to also be a sign of light for all. Vendettas only deepen the wounds, and lengthen the spiral of hatred."
Khazen said what is known for certain is that more than 230 Assyrian Christians have been and are still held hostage by jihadists. Khazen said "only a reckless person could have done something like that, when others are in danger, and everything can be used as a pretext to justify retaliation."