IS kidnapped 36 Druze women, children last week in Syria’s south: Monitor

Islamic State (IS) militants have been holding dozens of Druze women and children hostage after launching attacks on villages in Syria’s southern province of Sweida last week, a monitoring group reported on Monday.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Islamic State (IS) militants have been holding dozens of Druze women and children hostage after launching attacks on villages in Syria’s southern province of Sweida last week, a monitoring group reported on Monday.

“At least 36 Druze women and children were abducted during the attacks,” said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Both SOHR and Syrian news outlet Sweida24 claimed that 20 women and 16 children were being held by the jihadist group.

Last week, militants launched a series of suicide attacks in Sweida, killing at least 100 people, most of whom were pro-Syrian government fighters.

In an online statement, IS later claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The attacks, which appeared to have been a coordinated effort, are the deadliest ones claimed by IS in months.

Although pro-Syrian forces have controlled urban centers in eastern Syria since 2017, surprise attacks by the extremist group in recent months have killed dozens of government and regime-allied forces.

Damascus also controls almost all of the country’s southwestern territory, including Sweida, but pockets of IS elements remain present and active in rural desert areas to the north and east.

Editing by Nadia Riva