IS to release 29 Assyrian Christians abducted in Syria

Islamic State (IS) has decided to release 29 Assyrian Christians, who were part of over 200 members of the community kidnapped by the radical group earlier this week, a group monitoring the Syrian war said Saturday.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the Assyrian Christian leaders have conducted talks with the IS leadership through mediators to secure the release of abducted members of the community, Xinhua reported.

The 29 Assyrian Christians were part of the 220 members of the community kidnapped by the IS on February 23 when the group stormed the town of Tal Tamr, nearly 700 km from capital Damascus, in Syria’s al-Hasakah province, the SOHR said.

The monitoring group added that the rest of the kidnapped Assyrians would be subjected to trial in the IS court.

On Friday, the SOHR said that IS, so far, has not executed any of the Assyrian Christians it had abducted in Syria.

The Syrian foreign ministry Friday condemned the IS attack on Assyrian areas in al-Hasakah.

Over 690 families were also displaced in the IS attack, not to mention the desecration of places of worship, including churches, by the militants, a media report quoted the ministry as saying.

Christians, threatened by the Sunni radical group in Syria, have reportedly organised themselves into a militia to fight the militants.