HASAKAH – The Islamic State group (ISIS) released on Thursday 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 16 Christian hostages after nearly eleven months of being kept by ISIS militants.
The released hostages included eight children, three women and five men. They arrived in Tel Temir town of Hasakah province on Thursday afternoon.
The hostages were released after intensive negotiations between Assyrian figures, including archbishop Afram Ithnael, and ISIS leadership in northeastern Syria. The negotiations were reportedly facilitated by Arab tribal mediators.
This is the fourth batch of Assyrian hostages to be released by ISIS in two months.
“ISIS has so far freed 164 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.
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: Ahmed Shiwesh
Source: ARA News
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