ERBIL – The Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group has vowed to execute 180 Christian hostages from the Assyrian minority who were kidnapped in February in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakah, an Assyrian monitoring group reported.
The radical group has demanded a ransom of $12 million for the release of the Assyrian hostages.
Speaking to ARA News, director of the Assyrian Human Rights Network, Osama Edward, said there have been indirect negotiations with ISIS in order to release the Assyrian hostages.
“However, the negotiations, led by Bishop Ephrem Otnaial, head of the Church of the East in Syria, have been suspended due to the unbearable demands of the terror group,” Edward said.
“ISIS threatened to execute the 180 hostages if we didn’t pay the ransom,” he added.
“The terror group has demanded $12 million as ransom. Therefore, internal rifts emerged among Assyrian officials on how to respond to ISIS,” a member of the Civil Peace Committee in Tel Temir told ARA News under the condition of anonymity.
On Wednesday, ISIS published a footage showing the execution of three Assyrian hostages.
In February, ISIS militants launched a major offensive on Assyrian villages in the vicinity of Tel Temir town in Hasakah province, during which they took hundreds of civilians as hostages.
Reporting by: Sarbaz Yousef
Source: ARA News
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