A couple watches the fighting in Syria from Tel Saqi. The Syrian regime and its Russian backers launched numerous artillery and air strikes on ISIS positions 2018.
(photo credit: SETH J. FRANTZMAN)
Islamic State terrorists murdered a 25-year-old woman from the Druze minority in Syria, according to reports. The family of Tharwat abu Ammar found out on Tuesday that ISIS had executed her – one of 30 Druze captives who were kidnapped by the group in July after an attack on Suwayda in southern Syria. During the attack ISIS killed more than 250 people and systematically kidnapped women and children.
ISIS filmed the lead-up to the execution and published a photo of the victim. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) noted that there was a committee in Suwayda seeking to mediate with ISIS, and that Russian authorities and the Syrian regime had been involved in discussions. “The abductees will be set free in the next 48 hours,” the committee had heard, “but instead they were surprised by the execution.”
The murders came two months after the group executed a Druze man and four years after ISIS committed genocide against the Yazidi minority in Sinjar in northern Iraq. Thousands of Yazidi women who were kidnapped by ISIS in 2014 and sold into slavery are still missing.
According to the SOHR report, Abu Ammar came from the village of Al-Shabaki. Members of her family were murdered during the ISIS attack in July. In late July, Druze community leader Moafaq Tarif in Israel reportedly met Russia’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov to discuss the kidnapped Druze women. Firas Maksad, who follows developments in Syria, tweeted on October 1 that Russia was making inroads in mediating the crisis. Russia reportedly helped mediate the release of 60 “Bedouin hostages, taken in retaliation for the ISIS massacre in July.” It appears that ISIS executed Abu Ammar in spite of the agreement.
Druze across the region have followed the ordeal of the kidnapped women closely. One member of the Druze community in Israel tweeted, “We are all devastated and heartbroken.” Although some 70 countries are involved in the international coalition fighting ISIS, including the Syrian regime and Russia, they have not been able to locate the women or defeat the extremists. International organizations have not appeared to do anything to help the Druze in Syria in the wake of the massacre or to help trace and located the missing women.
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