25 Assyrian Christians Released by ISIS
ICC Note: Today 25 Assyrian Christians who have been held hostage by ISIS militants in Syria since February were released. The group has safely reached a nearby area and was greeted by local church leaders. Included in this group were two young boys, the first children released from more than 200 originally abducted. The total number released has now risen to 113, according to this report.
12/09/2015 Syria (Christian Today) – Over two dozen Christians kidnapped by Islamic State, including two children, have been freed, Christian Today has learned.
The Assyrian Church of the East in Syria today secured the release of 25 Assyrians who have been held hostage since February. A Demand for Action (ADFA), a campaign group for minorities in the Middle East, confirmed the release in an email to Christian Today.
Photos have been posted online showing the group being transported on a bus with a clergyman. The two young boys appear to be aged between 9 and 12 years old, and are the first children to have been released by ISIS.
The hostages were among more than 200 people abducted from villages along the Khabour River in northern Syria. These 25 were from the villages of Tal Jazirah, Tal Shamiran and Qabar Shamia.
ISIS have now released 113 hostages in total, and negotiations are continuing to secure the freedom of the remaining 99. ADFA told Christian Today that the Church is working “day and night to make sure all are returned to their families safely”.