ISIS terrorists released six of 27 Druze hostages in Syria
ISIS has released six of 27 Druze hostages it seized during a deadly attack in Syria’s Sweida province in July in exchange for a prisoner swap and a $27 million ransom, a monitor said on Saturday.
The group abducted about 30 people – mostly women and children – from Sweidaduring the deadliest attack on Syria’s Druze community of the seven-year civil war.
Families of the hostages led a series of protests outside government offices in Sweida this month to demand that more be done to secure their release.
“Two women and four children from the province of Sweida were released last night,” said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group.
He said that the releases were the “first wave” and part of an agreement sealed with the Syrian government to exchange all of the hostages for “60 Islamic State prisoners held by the regime and a ransom of $27m.”
Further hostage releases were expected “in the next few days or hours”. he said.
During the co-ordinated assaults on July 25, ISIS carried out suicide bombings, shootings and stabbings that left more than 250 people dead across the south-western province, most of them civilians.
Sweida province is the heartland of the country’s Druze minority, which made up about three per cent of Syria’s prewar population – about 700,000 people.
ISIS executed a 19-year-old male student among the captives in August and then a 25-year-old female captive in early October. The group said a 65-year-old female captive also died after becoming ill.
Source: The National