World News

36 women, children kidnapped by Islamic State in Syria last week - monitor

36 women, children kidnapped by Islamic State in Syria last week - monitor

Syrian state TV and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-linked war monitoring group, both reported government attacks on the Yarmouk basin region in southern Syria.

The extremists abducted around 18 people, mostly women, in a wave of attacks in the area last Wednesday.

Four of the women managed to escape and another two died, said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.

Israel has largely kept to the sidelines of the Syrian civil war, but has said it will not allow Iran or the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah to establish a permanent military presence near the frontier.

Some reports say that the abductees were all from the village of al-Shabki, in the eastern hinterlands of the province.

The government now controls almost the whole of southwest Syria after pushing into the Daraa and Quneitra provinces last month in a campaign against opposition forces and IS militants.

"When IS saw that, it kidnapped the first batch of people from their homes and took them east towards the Badiya, according to survivors", Nour added.

More news: Alisson confident great things ahead for Liverpool

IS has been driven from virtually all the territory it once controlled in Syria and Iraq, but holds scattered pockets in southern Syria and along the border.

IS has also reached out to the families of those abducted with pictures and videos.

Religious leaders from the Druze community have since stepped in, Radwan and another local source with knowledge of the talks told AFP.

"As of Sunday, the hostages were still being held in the Badiya". That includes parts of Sweida and pockets in the neighboring province of Daraa.

President Bashar al-Assad's regime, backed by its Russian ally, has been fighting since mid-June to retake rebel-held areas in Daraa and neighbouring Quneitra province.

Since its bloody rise in 2014, IS has carried out multiple mass abductions in Syria and Iraq, including of minorities.

It is also not clear whether negotiations are under way to secure the hostages' release.


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