Nineteen Assyrians who were captured from the Syrian village of Tel Goran have been released by Islamic State (IS) and have arrived safely at St Mary’s Church in Hasaka, Syria.
According to the Assyrian International News Agency, negotiations for their release had been ongoing for three days and were mediated by local Arab tribal leaders.
‘Of the 19 that were released, 17 were women and 2 were men,’ said a spokesperson for AINA. But not all who were captured from Tel Goran were released. One of the hostages, an elderly woman, said that IS did not release her son and two other men who were guarding the village.
IS also refused to release a six-year-old girl. According to reports from the released hostages, Islamic State said it plans to use the girl as a bargaining chip. The girl’s mother was released but would not leave her daughter behind and stayed with her.
The spokesman told the ASSIST News Service, ‘The hostages looked tired and dishevelled but were otherwise unharmed.’
According to AINA, the number of Assyrians captured by Islamic State is between 262 and 373. According to Assyrian leaders, negotiations for the release of the remainder of the hostages are ongoing.
Sources: Assist News Service
- Thank the Lord for the release of these hostages; pray He will help them to overcome their ordeal.
- Pray for the many that remain; pray they will be sustained by the Lord. Ask Him to give them a peace in their heart in spite of their circumstances as well as a willingness to trust in Him completely. Pray for their protection and release.
- Ask God to frustrate the plans of Islamic State; pray their evil schemes become their undoing. Pray many will be drawn to the Lord by the Christian witness of the captives.