Druze clergy pray during a funeral for some of the more than 250 people killed by ISIS in July. Photo: AP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Syrian regime forces have freed 19 Druze hostages captured by ISIS, state media reported.
Syrian Arab Army soldiers freed 19 women who had been abducted by ISIS in Sweida, SANA news stated. They were freed after a fierce battle with militants in the Humeima area, northeast of Palmyra.
ISIS seized about 30 civilians, members of the Druze minority, in deadly attacks on villages in Sweida, southern Syria in late July.
Six were released in October, part of a swap deal that was a reported “gesture of goodwill” and the first stage in an agreement for the release of the rest of the captives in exchange for $27 million and more than 60 prisoners being held by the regime, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported at the time.
At least two of the people died while in captivity – one of them executed by the militants.
A handout picture released by Syrian state media on November 8, 2018 shows a group of Druze women and children standing in front of a bus upon being freed at an undisclosed location. Photo: SANA/AFP