ISIS Fighters Claim All 150 Syrian Christian Hostages Are 'Safe,' Will Be 'Released Within a Few Days'

Syrian Christian church
A woman walks inside a damaged church in Maaloula, August 21, 2014. Residents of Maaloula, a Christian town in Syria, call on other Christian groups and minorities to stand up to the radicalism that is sweeping across Syria and Iraq. The town was regained by Syrian Army forces in April 2014 from Islamic militants, and several months later life is slowly returning to the town. |

Members of the Islamic State terrorist organization who were involved in the kidnapping of as many as 150 Christians in Syria this week, are claiming that the hostages are "safe" and will be released in a few days, according to the Assyrian International News Agency.

AINA reports that an Assyrian man, who's not a member of ISIS but knows many ISIS fighters, was told by ISIS members that the hostages, who were kidnapped during the Islamic State's raids on 35 Christian villages along the Khabur River near the town of Tel Tamer, are in "good condition" and are expected to eventually be released.

Although the news agency's source, an Assyrian named Matthew, was told the captives will be released, he's skeptical that the militant group will actually free the Christians, since ISIS has become notorious for its publicized hostage execution videos.

"The local ISIS members said the hostages are 'safe' and in 'good condition' and will be released within a few days," the report states. "But given the history of the brutality of ISIS, Matthew said he doubts the hostages will be released."

Ethnic map of Syria
Ethnic map of Syria. Locates Tel Tamr where Islamic State militants abducted at least 90 to 150 Christians on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, a monitoring group in Syria said on Tuesday. |

Given the fact that ISIS rarely releases hostages without receiving ransom and often brutally murders its captives, Matthew is not the only one who's skeptical about the terrorists' claim that the Christians will be released.

Osama Edward, founder of the Assyrian Human Rights Network, told CNN that the Islamic State is expected to release a public message on Wednesday threatening to murder the hostages. Edward added that the speculated ISIS message will be directed toward President Barack Obama and other nations involved in the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes.

Edward suspects that the the captured Assyrian Christians will face the same fate as the 21 Coptic Christians, who were kidnapped by ISIS affiliates in Libya and were beheaded in a public execution video released on Feb. 15.

"Maybe [the Syrian hostages] are facing the same destiny. That's why we call on [leaders] all over the world, like the U.S.-Europe coalition — protect Assyrians, save Assyrians in Syria," Edward pleaded. "They are facing death, people are unarmed, they are peaceful. And, they need help. They are just left alone — no one's protecting them."

Edward told the International Business Times that as many as 500 Christian families were able to escape from ISIS' wrath by fleeing to Hasakah City and seeking refuge in a church.

AINA also reported that a Christian woman who fled to to the city of Qamishli posted a video on Facebook that featured her account of the ISIS raid in her home village.

"We fell asleep in total quiet, nothing was going on. We woke up to the sound of clashing; we didn't know what it was until we saw that everyone in the village was fleeing because ISIS had entered the village," the woman said, according to the AINA translation.

She continued: "They [ISIS] went into Tel Hurmiz and killed people there, even young men. We didn't understand what had happened fully, but there was so much fear in our hearts that we didn't even know how to escape. In the south [of the village] even old men and women were fleeing. All the roads were closed, there wasn't a single car. No one could help us. We called some people in Qamishli who came to get us, who came to Zumar after Tel Tamar. People were running with house clothes on."

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