In northeast Syria, the Islamic State has freed 22 Assyrian Christians, including 14 elderly.
According to Asia News, the release of those who were kidnapped in the province of Hassake six months ago is said to be thanks to the mediation of Assyrian priests. Earlier this year, IS occupied the area and took hundreds of Christian hostages. However, in May, the Islamic State was expelled from 14 Christian villages of the region.
While this release is positive news, it is reported that 187 of the Christians are still being held by the Islamic State, and the militants demand $100,000 per hostage.
Making up about 2.5% of Syria’s 1.2 million Christians, there are an estimated 30,000 Assyrian Christians in Syria, most of whom live in the Hassake province. (D.C.L.)