The Islamic State group kidnapped dozens of Druze women and children when it attacked their villages last week in Syria’s southern province of Sweida, a monitor said Monday.
More than 250 people were killed on Wednesday when IS carried out a string of suicide attacks and shootings in the provincial capital Sweida and villages to the north and east.
At least, 14 Syrian women from the Druze minority were kidnapped by ISIS after the last massacre in #Sweida.
— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) July 28, 2018
“At least 36 Druze women and children were abducted after the attacks,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor with a network of sources inside Syria.
Four of the women had since managed to escape and another two had died, said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman. Another 17 men from the areas targeted by IS were still unaccounted for, but it was unclear if they were also kidnapped, he told AFP.
Both the Observatory and Syrian news outlet Sweida24 said 20 women and 16 children had been kidnapped. IS has not claimed the kidnappings, and no details on them could be found on its propaganda channels.
Meet 72 yrs old Syrian heroine Jamal al-Jabaei. She protected four of her grandchildren in #Sweida killing two ISIS attackers using her own AK 47. She kept resisting for hours after being shot in her stomach. pic.twitter.com/x02Y19KqqW
— Fares Shehabi MP (@ShehabiFares) July 27, 2018
IS declared a self-styled Islamic “caliphate” in 2014 across Syria and Iraq, but has since lost most of that territory.
It still holds small, isolated areas of Syria’s remote desert, which includes northeastern parts of Sweida, as well as pockets in the adjacent province of Daraa and further east near the border with Iraq.
— Fares Shehabi MP (@ShehabiFares) July 25, 2018
Backed by Russia, Syrian troops have been waging an assault on an IS-held pocket of Daraa for more than a week.
Sweida, which is mostly held by the government and populated by the secretive Druze minority, has been relatively insulated from the violence of Syria’s seven-year war.
Last week’s attacks were the bloodiest ever in the province and among the deadliest waged by IS in Syria.
Spoke to friends who lost relatives there in #Sweida #Syria. Appears the army wasn't present after many refused to serve and civilians had to fend for themselves against #ISIS.
This testimony from a friend + other stories, confirms the "#Assad protects minorities narrative" wrong pic.twitter.com/Hxw1cV8N5n
— Kareem Chehayeb | كريم (@chehayebk) July 27, 2018