Islamic State (ISIS) fighters took the central town of Mahin, east of Homs city, for the second time in two years, sparking fears of invasion in a nearby ancient Christian town, an affiliate news agency reported Sunday.
Activists said the radical group seeks to control the Assad regime's largest ammunition depots amid fears of invading the neighboring Christian town of Sadad, about 25 kilometers southeast of Mahin.
The capture of Mahin came three months after ISIS successfully seized Qaryatain, located in the middle of the cities of Homs, Palmyra and Damascus.
Osama Edward, the director of the Assyrian Human Rights Network in Syria, said hundreds of families have fled the town of Sadad toward the government-held city of Homs and the capital, Damascus. Christians make up about 10 percent of Syria's prewar population of 23 million people.
Sadad was captured briefly in 2013 by members of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, but was later retaken by government forces.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.