WASHINGTON - The United States has condemned the abduction by the Islamic State group of dozens of Assyrian Christians in Syria and demanded their immediate release.
It was the first mass kidnapping of Christians in the war-torn country.
The abduction of at least 90 Christians appeared to be in retaliation for a major Kurdish offensive aimed at recapturing nearby villages, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday.
"ISIL's latest targeting of a religious minority is only further testament to its brutal and inhumane treatment of all those who disagree with its divisive goals and toxic beliefs," US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, using another acronym for Islamic State.
"ISIL continues to exact its evil upon innocents of all faiths, and the majority of its victims have been Muslims," she added in a statement.
She added: "To bring an end to these daily horrors, we remain committed to leading the international coalition to degrade and defeat ISIL and to working towards a negotiated political solution that stops the bloodshed and secures a future of freedom, justice, and dignity for all Syrians."