Islamic State releases new batch of Christian hostages north Syria

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Ignatius Aphrem II, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, during a visit to the Syriac-Assyrian church in Qamishli, northeastern Syria, in April 2015, as the region encounters conflict with ISIS militants. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

HASAKAH – The Islamic State group (ISIS) released on Friday a new batch of Assyrian Christian hostages who have been captured by the group in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah in February. 

The Assyrian Network for Human Rights (ANHR) reported the release of 25 Christian hostages after nearly ten months of being kept by ISIS militants.

The released arrived on Friday to their hometown of Tel Temir in the countryside of Hasakah.

“On Christmas Day, ISIS released a new group of hostages, which consisted of 25 Assyrian Christians,” the network said in a statement. 

This is the third batch of Assyrian hostages to be released by ISIS in a month. 

“ISIS has so far freed 148 hostages out of 230 Christian civilians who have been taken during the group’s invasion into the Assyrian villages in Tel Temir area of Hasakah province last February,” the Assyrian Network for Human Rights said. 

Most of the released are older people who suffer health conditions.

In February, militants of the Islamic State stormed a number of Christian villages in the area. Subsequent to fierce clashes with Kurdish forces and allied Assyrian fighters, the radical group took some 230 civilians as hostages before its withdrawal. 

ISIS has earlier released several batches of Christian hostages after negotiations with Assyrian figures, supported by Arab tribal mediators in Hasakah province. 

Reporting by: Salar Qassim 

Source: ARA News

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