According to a statement from international advocacy group Barnabas Fund, on Saturday 7 November, 37 Syrian Christians were released after eight months of captivity at the hands of Islamic State (IS).
The captives had been kept by IS jihadists in north-eastern Syria. Those liberated, all of them elderly, arrived by bus at Tel Tamar village in Syria’s north-eastern Hassake province. According to Barnabas Fund, photographs of the 27 women and 10 men released depicted the relief of freedom, but said ‘a telling sadness in their eyes portrayed the deep trauma they have endured for many months’.
The released hostages form part of a much larger group of Syrians taken captive in late February and early March, when IS raided 35 villages along the Khabur river in Syria’s Hassake province. More than 250 were abducted in those raids, it is believed.