Red Cross pleads for information on three Syrian staffers captured by ISIS five years ago
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: syria;
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has requested information about three of its staff members who were abducted in Syria by the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) over five years ago.
“ICRC is making a public call for information about three staff members abducted in Syria more than five years ago… The three were traveling in a Red Cross convoy that was delivering supplies to medical facilities in Idlib, north-western Syria, when armed men stopped the vehicles on 13 October 2013. The gunmen abducted seven people; four were released the next day,” the statement, released late on Sunday, read.
The captured staff members include Louisa Akavi, a nurse from New Zealand as well as Syrian nationals Alaa Rajab and Nabil Bakdounes, who worked as drivers for the Red Cross, according to the statement.
“The past five and a half years have been an extremely difficult time for the families of our three abducted colleagues. Louisa is a true and compassionate humanitarian. Alaa and Nabil were committed colleagues and an integral part of our aid deliveries… We ask that anyone with information please come forward. If our colleagues are still being held, we call for their immediate and unconditional release,” said Dominik Stillhart, ICRC’s director of operations, as quoted in the statement.
As of late 2018, Akavi was believed to be alive according to information from credible sources, while the fate of the two drivers remains unknown, the Red Cross noted.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition groups and terrorist organizations. In late 2017, the victory over the Daesh terrorist group was declared in Syria and Iraq. Certain territories in the two countries are still being cleared of militants.