SYRIA: Another group of 16 Christian hostages released

Earlier today (29 January), another group of 16 Christian hostages was freed by Islamic State militants who had been holding them captive since February 2015.

The latest group of released hostages is comprised mainly of women and children and includes four mothers and their children. As with previous releases, the freed hostages were met by Bishop of Syria Mar Afram Athneil who is Chairman of the Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organisation (ACERO).

SYRIA: Sixteen more Assyrian Christian hostages released

Yesterday (14 January), a further group of Assyrian Christian hostages was released by Islamic State militants who had been holding them captive since February 2015.

The released hostages comprised eight children, three women and five men. They arrived in Tel Temir town, Hassaka province, northeast Syria on Thursday afternoon. They were met and embraced by Archbishop Afram Athneil, Chairman of Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organisation (ACERO).

SYRIA: Ten more Assyrian hostages released

On 24 November, Islamic State released ten more Assyrian Christian hostages – five women and five men.

The hostages were among the 253 Christians abducted on 23 February 2015 when Islamic State attacked 35 Assyrian villages along the Khabur River in Hassaka province, northeast Syria. During the attacks, 3,000 other Assyrians were driven from their villages; most have not returned.

SYRIA: Islamic State executes three Christian hostages

On 8 October, Islamic State released a video showing the execution of three Assyrian Christian men in Hassaka province in the northeast corner of Syria. They have been identified as Dr Abdel-Maseeh Aniyah and Ashur Rustam Abraham from the village of Tal Jazirah, and Bassam Issa Michael from the village of Tal Shamiram.