Sunday, November 8, 2015

ISIS releases 37 Assyrians in northern Syria

The Islamic State (IS) militants released 37 Syrian Assyrians it had abducted last February in northern Syria, the Assyrian Monitor for Human Rights said Saturday.

The newly released Assyrians were part of a bigger group of Christians the IS kidnapped last February during the terror group's invasion of Assyrian towns and villages in the Khabour area in the countryside of the northern city of Hasakah.

Women and elderly people were among the 37 Assyrians, the report said, adding that the release came as a result of "strenuous efforts" the Hasakah-based Assyrian Church of the East has exerted.

The released abductees arrived at the Assyrian town of Tal Tamr in Hasakah earlier on Saturday, the report said, adding that the IS is still holding 140 other captives including women and children.

Last August, the IS released 22 Assyrians, also through negotiations with the church.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based watchdog group, said the release came through the mediation of tribes leaders in both Iraq and Syria and after the church paid large sum of money as a ransom.

  • It said the IS would release Assyrians who had never involved in fighting against its militants by the same way.

The IS unleashed attacks on tens of predominantly Assyrian villages earlier this year, including Tal Hurmoz, Tal Shamiram, Tal Rumman, Tal Nasra and many more towns in the countryside of the Hasaka province, deprived many lives and kidnapped over 200 civilians.

The attacks also displaced 690 families, not to mention the desecration of worship places and churches.

   Xinhua -

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