Syria Army Frees Druze Hostages from IS


Syrian state media said Thursday the army has freed all remaining Druze women and children abducted in July from the southern province of Sweida by the Islamic State group.

The army "clashed directly with the IS terrorist organization, which had abducted women and children from the Sweida province," state news agency SANA said.

Government troops "were able to liberate all the 19 hostages... and kill the terrorist kidnappers," it added.

State television broadcast images of veiled women, boys and at least one girl surrounded by men in military uniforms near a white pick-up truck in a desert landscape.

It said the images were broadcast from the desert near the ancient city of Palmyra in the center of the country.

IS jihadists abducted around 30 people -- mostly women and children -- from Sweida in late July during the deadliest attack on Syria's Druze community of the seven-year civil war.

Nour Radwan, a journalist based in Sweida, confirmed the liberation but said the women and children were freed in a prisoner exchange deal.

"The freeing of the remaining hostages came as part of a prisoner swap deal, and today was the second stage of that deal," he told AFP.

Two women and four children were released last month in a first step of the same agreement that also saw women and children related to IS fighters freed from regime jails, he said.

The Druze community had been hoping for the return of 20 hostages, Radwan said.

"IS told the family of one of the female hostages that they had killed her but did not send any proof," he said.

"We're waiting for them to arrive in Sweida. If there are 19 of them then it means she really was killed," he said.

The jihadists executed a 19-year-old male student among the hostages in August and then a 25-year-old woman in early October.

IS said a 65-year-old woman being held by the group also died from illness.

Sweida province is the heartland of the country's Druze minority, which made up roughly three percent of Syria's pre-war population -- or around 700,000 people.

Comments 8
Thumb Southern...... 6 months

Hi Jumplat!!!

Thumb enterprise 6 months

lol @'Good job Syria Army'

Thumb whyaskwhy 6 months

Between the devil and Kizballah most Lebanese would support the least you know he has no master!

Thumb whyaskwhy 6 months

this is good news, probably not so good if your a devil worshiper. abduction of Women and children are about as low as any organisation can get. Only a hate and blindly driven group would do such a thing. There are still hundreds of kidnapped in Syria who are being held by both sides so lets hope that they too will see daylight soon. So the Jumblatts still have influence in Moscow....

Thumb s.o.s 6 months

so it was a prisonner swap, some shady deal done by Putin, not an Assad initiative.

Thumb whyaskwhy 6 months

Exactly Assad is probably upset he had nothing to do with it lol.

Thumb warrior 6 months

أشار رئيس اللقاء الديمقراطي النائب تيمور جنبلاط في تغريدة عبر “تويتر” إلى ان “ثقتنا بقدرة روسيا وجيشها على تحرير المختطفين كانت دائما ثابتة، شكرًا من القلب لأصدقائنا الروس وقواتهم العسكرية لتحقيقهم هذا الإنجاز”، مضيفاً: “العزاء لأهالي الشهداء والتهنئة للمحررين وأسرهم “.

Thumb warrior 6 months

نفى موقع “الأنباء” الاكتروني التابع للحزب التقدمي الإشتراكي، في رد على خبر تناقلته وسائل الاعلام السورية مفاده أن “الجيش السوري حرّر الرهائن الدروز لدى داعش، ان تكون هذه الرواية صحيحة.

وأشار الموقع إلى أن “الاعلام السوري مرة جديدة يطل برواياته المختلقة البعيدة من الواقع موحيا أنه حرر المختطفين في السويداء. الحقيقة هي أن القوات الروسية قامت اليوم الخميس بعملية عسكرية نوعية حررت من خلالها المختطفين من ابناء محافظة السويداء لدى تنظيم داعش الارهابي”.

وأضاف أن القيادة الروسية ابلغت وفد الحزب التقدمي الإشتراكي برئاسة النائب تيمور جنبلاط الموجود في موسكو رسمياً بالعملية التي قامت بها احدى الفرق الروسية العاملة شرق سوريا”.

وذكر الإعلام الرسمي السوري، في وقت سابق، أن جيش النظام حرر الرهائن الدروز والبالغ عددهم 19 امرأة وطفلاً لدى تنظيم داعش.