37 elderly freed from ISIS captivity

by Kelly Ledbetter |

(Assyrian Human Rights Network via Facebook)An elderly woman weeps after being released from captivity by ISIS.

TEL TAMER, Syria (Christian Examiner) – ISIS has released 37 Assyrian Christians kidnapped from the city of Hasaka in the northeastern part of the country in February.

The 27 women and 10 men released this Saturday were greeted outside a local church and were reported to be in good health by the Assyrian Human Rights Network in Syria, a human rights watchdog organization.

In a photo posted on the Assyrian Human Rights Network's Facebook page, an elderly woman is crying as she walks freely among others again.

In February as a result of combat with the Syrian Kurdish militia, ISIS captured about 200 people, and the release of these 37 brings the total released to 88, the Jerusalem Post stated.

The ransom for each hostage was said to be $100,000, although CBN reported the ransom was eventually reduced by half.

"The Islamic State introduced the caliphate (strict Islamic leadership) in large parts of Syria and Iraq at the end of June 2014 and a strict version of Sharia law was implemented," says Open Doors' fact sheet about Syria, which ranks four out of 50 on its 2015 World Watch List.

"Since then, most Christians have fled areas controlled by the Islamic State. Christians are kidnapped out of financial, political and ideological motives. Many Christians have been abducted, physically harmed and killed."

Elders from Arab tribes had mediated with the jihadists for their release, the Britain-based  said, according to Reuters.

The Assyrian Human Rights Network in Syria is helping to negotiate for the remaining 124 people still being held.

Of those captured, three are reported to have been executed by ISIS in October, according to the human rights groups.