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19 Assyrians Released By ISIS But Hundreds Remain Captured

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Assyrian hostages from Tel Goran who were captured and released by ISIS, at St. Mary's Church in Hasaka.

Assyrian hostages from Tel Goran who were captured and released by ISIS, at St. Mary’s Church in Hasaka.

(AINA) 01 Mar 2015– 19 Assyrians that were captured from the village of Tel Goran have been released by ISIS and have arrived safely at St. Mary’s Church in Hasaka, Syria. 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 are men and 2 are women. But not all who were captured from Tel Goran were released. One of the hostages, an elderly woman, said that ISIS did not release her son and 2 other men who were guarding the village.

ISIS also refused to release a 6 year old girl named Mariana Mirza. According to reports from the released hostages, Mariana’s mother is pregnant and had to leave her daughter behind, but Bobo, the aunt of Mariana’s father, volunteered to stay behind with the girl even though she had been released. The father of Mariana, Abdo Mirza, was given a letter of safe passage by ISIS and instructed to bring money to pay for the release of his daughter.

The hostages looked tired and disheveled but were otherwise unharmed.

See attacks on Assyrians in Syria for more information.

The number of Assyrians captured by ISIS is between 262 and 373. With the release of this group of 19, the number still being held by ISIS remains in the hundreds. According to Assyrian leaders, negotiations for the release of the remainder of the hostages are ongoing.

On February 24 ISIS attacked the Assyrian villages of Tel Goran, Tel Hurmiz, Tel Tamar, Tel Baloaa Tel Shamiran, Tel Riman, Tel Nasra, Tel Khareta, Tel Jazira, Tel Fweidat, Qaber Shamiyeh and Abu Tena.

Nine Assyrian fighters died defending their villages in the initial attacks and there are reports that ISIS has executed at least 12 Assyrian fighters who were captured, two of them women.

The majority of the Assyrians were captured from Tel Shamiran, Tel Hurmiz, Tel Goran and Tel Jazira (AINA 2015-02-26).

Nearly 3000 Assyrians have fled from the 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur river to Hasaka and Qamishli. There is a critical need for shelter for the refugees.

UPDATE:

(AINA) 03 Mar. 2015- Today ISIS released four more Assyrian captives who were captured in the initial attacks on the 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur river, in the Hasaka province of Syria.

Mariana Mirza, 6, was released today, two days after her parents were released. (AINA photo).

Mariana Mirza, 6, was released today, two days after her parents were released. (AINA photo).

Two Assyrians from Tel Shamiram were released, Yatroun Marko and his wife Wardiyya Yonan. Two Assyrians from Tel Goran were released, 6 year-old Mariana Mirza and her father’s aunt, Bobo Mirza. Mariana’s parents had also been captured and were released on Sunday, but ISIS did release Mariana at that time. Because her mother was pregnant and expecting, she was forced to leave, but Mariana’s father’s aunt, Bobo, who also had been released, stayed behind with Mariana.

The released Assyrians are now in Hasaka.

The number of Assyrians captured by ISIS is between 262 and 373. With the release of this group of 19, the number still being held by ISIS remains in the hundreds. According to Assyrian leaders, negotiations for the release of the remainder of the hostages are ongoing.

On February 24 ISIS attacked the Assyrian villages of Tel Goran, Tel Hurmiz, Tel Tamar, Tel Baloaa Tel Shamiran, Tel Riman, Tel Nasra, Tel Khareta, Tel Jazira, Tel Fweidat, Qaber Shamiyeh and Abu Tena.

Nine Assyrian fighters died defending their villages in the initial attacks and there are reports that ISIS has executed at least 12 Assyrian fighters who were captured, two of them women.

The majority of the Assyrians were captured from Tel Shamiran, Tel Hurmiz, Tel Goran and Tel Jazira

  • Please continue to pray for the safety and release of all hostages.
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