ISLAMIC STATE RELEASES 10 MORE KIDNAPPED CHRISTIANS
The Islamic State (IS) has released 10 more Assyrians from over 200 indigenous Christians who had been kidnapped from their communities in northeastern Syria in February.
The civilians, five men and five women, were released Tuesday evening, the Assyrian Human Rights Network (AHRN) reported.
The released hostages, from Tel Shamiram, Tel Jazeera, Qabr Shamiya and Tel Fayda, are all said to be “in good health,” AHRN added.
On Feb. 23, IS jihadists overran 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur River in the northeastern Hasaka province. IS captured 253 Christians in the initial attack and drove 3,000 Assyrians from their villages.
Since the beginning of March at least 95 Assyrian hostages, mostly the sick and elderly, have been released by IS in separate groups. In October, it filmed the killing of three Assyrian hostages and threatened more if demands were not met.
The latest group of freed hostages comes as a result of ongoing negotiations, AHRN said, declining to disclose details on the nearly eight months of negotiations, citing “the gravity and sensitivity of the situation.”
IS still holds 158 hostages from the Khabur area in addition to 185 Assyrians IS captured in Qaryatain, in the western Syrian province of Homs, in early August.
Syria is ranked #4 on Open Doors’ 2015 World Watch List (www.worldwatchlist.us) of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians.
Open Doors is helping Christians who have been displaced by Islamic State. To help feed a family for $50 a month, go to https://secure2.convio.net/ccod/site/Donation2?df_id=7560&7560.donation=form1&_ga=1.43211565.981393229.1378412015.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.