In a post on the Assyrian Human Rights Network's Facebook page, it was confirmed that the Islamic State has finally released 37 elderly Assyrian Christians on Saturday morning, following their nine months of travail under the hands of the extremists.
The elderlies were captured by the ISIS in Tal Talmer, a northeastern city in Syria. The group and many others were kidnapped during an attack by the terrorists which happened earlier this year.
According to CNN, 215 civilians were taken from various Assyrian villages. The Human Rights Network's founder, Usama Edward, said about 600 people ran toward St. Mary's Cathedral in al-Hasakah during the onslaught while many others fled to neighboring towns.
During the Mesopotamia times, which dates back to about 4,000 years back, Assyrians were known for their civilization that boasts of rich literature. Research says the first religion of Assyrians was Ashurism, but the third century has raised Christians that are predominant until now and continue to grow despite the war.
While the number of freed captives has grown steadily over the past months, U.N. humanitarian affairs chief Stephen O'Brien said Christians and other minorities have largely been victims of the Syrian civil war. Over 250,000 people have been killed and an estimated 7.6 million have been driven out of their homes as another 4 million have fled to other countries in search of refuge.
The war has taken its toll on many Christians and minorities in the country and while anti-terrorist groups are fighting to fend the terrorists off, Islamic State forces seem to get stronger each day.
The Islamic State aims to establish a government that follows its own interpretations of Islam, and while it has applied extreme measures to some captives and hostages belonging to other religions that go against its beliefs, families of the hostages hope that negotiations to free the rest of the captives will become a success.