At least 16 children among those kidnapped by ISIS terrorists in southern Syria
Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on Saturday that at least 16 children are among the dozens of civilians kidnapped by the Islamic State (IS) in southern Syria.
The rights group asserted that IS is using the children as a “bargaining chip” in negotiations with the Syrian government and its ally, Russia.
The children are aged between seven and 15 years old, according to HRW, and labeled the act a “war crime.”
HRW also warned that the 27 hostages held since July 25 should not be used to bargain with authorities and demanded their immediate release.
The jihadists have beheaded a teenage hostage, and a woman reportedly died in their custody. The reason for her death remains unclear. Two women managed to escape from IS abductors, witnesses told HRW.
The Syrian government is preparing for an assault against IS militants in the southern Sweida province and areas near Damascus suburbs. At the same time, locals have formed a negotiating committee to secure the release of their relatives.
The jihadist group has also asked the government to free their jailed members. In footage where IS militants beheaded the teenager, the extremists called on the government to reverse their plan to attack the jihadist group’s remaining holdouts near the capital.
IS militants on July 25 kidnapped more than 30 people in an attack on villages in Sweida.
Militants had snipers on rooftops and were shooting civilians as they fled or tried to drive the injured people to nearby hospitals, witnesses told HRW.
Although the jihadist group has lost most of the territory it controlled in Syria and Iraq in 2014, they continue to remain a threat to both neighboring countries. According to the UN, about 20,000 and 30,000 IS militants remain in the two war-torn states and are either militarily engaged or hiding among civilians as sleeper cells.
Source: Kurdistan 24