Syrian Army Frees 19 Druze Hostages Held by ISIS

Women and children were being held near Palmyra

The Syrian Army has reported an operation northeast of the ancient city of Palmyra on Thursday which led to the rescue of 19 Druze hostages. The women and children were being held by ISIS fighters.

The Druze were some of more than 30 hostages taken by ISIS during July attacks against the Sweida Province, which also killed hundreds. A handful of hostages had already been released, and some others were executed. It is unclear if, following this rescue, all are now accounted for.

Showing little interest in the Syrian rebellion, the Druze found themselves, like many religious minorities in the country, accused of being loyal to the Assad government. This has made them targets for rebels, especially Islamist groups like ISIS.

While ISIS holds little territory anymore in Syria or Iraq, there are still many thousands of fighters loyal to them, mostly scattered around Syria’s eastern desert regions. This groups continue to carry out attacks as the opportunity presents itself.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.