Hassakè (Agenzia Fides) - The jihadists affiliated to the self-styled Islamic State (Daesh) released yesterday, 14 January, 16 other Assyrian Christians who were part of the large group of hostages that they captured and deported on 23 February, when the jihadi militias had carried out an offensive against the predominantly Christian Assyrian villages scattered along the Khabur valley river, in the northeastern Syrian province of Hassakè. Eight members of the group of released hostages are children. All appeared in decent condition. "This time" refers to Agenzia Fides the Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Hassakè-Nisibis, Jacques Behnan Hindo "the hostages released were left near the city of Tel Tamar, and from there were able to reach their village of Tel Jazira".
More than 250 Assyrian Christians of the Khabur valley were taken hostage by jihadists in February. Since then there have been several releases of groups of prisoners. Last time, on December 25, 25 Assyrian Christians had been released by Daesh. "At the moment, according to our calculations" says to Agenzia Fides Archbishop Hindo "hostages of that group who still remain in the hands of the jihadist Islamic State may be less than seventy".
In early October, a video of the execution of three Assyrian Christians in the Khabur valley (see Fides 08/10/2015) was released on jihadist websites. The footage, shot according to the gruesome rituals followed in other similar cases by jihadist propaganda, warned that the executions of other hostages would continue if the sum demanded as ransom for their release was not paid. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 15/01/2016)