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Syria

Islamic State executes another Druze hostage

9 Oct 2018

CSW is deeply saddened by news that Islamic State (IS, Daesh) terrorists have executed another Druze hostage in Syria. Footage of the execution was released on 2 October.

The victim, Thuraya Abou Ammar, 25, was one of 37 people abducted during an attack on Al-Shabki village in Suwayda in southern Syria on 25 July 2018. Her execution came hours after negotiations between IS and the Syrian and Russian authorities for the hostages to be exchanged for IS prisoners reached a deadlock.

On 25 July, IS terrorists conducted a number of suicide attacks in markets and residential areas in As-Suwayda Governorate, and stormed villages in the region. It is thought that IS terrorists who were evacuated from Al-Yarmouk Camp in southern Damascus a few months ago following a deal with the Syrian government were among them. 

According to CSW sources, more than 300 people were killed, 298 injured and 37 abducted in the attacks. Victims included women, children and, in some instances, entire families.

On 26 July, IS’s media outlet Amaq posted videos of the executions of some of the abductees. On 2 August Muhannad Zouqan, 19, was also executed. A pregnant woman has reportedly given birth in captivity after being abducted along with her three children.

The Suwayda region is mainly occupied by the Druze ethnoreligious group. The Druze are believed to constitute around 3.2% of the Syrian population. Originating from the Near East, the Druze self-identify as ‘Unitarians’ or ‘People of Monotheism.’ They are deemed by hard-line Islamists to be heretics, and in the past their communities in Idlib Governorate in north-western Syria suffered several attacks.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “We extend our condolences to the family of Thuraya Abou Ammar, whose life was taken in a senseless and inhumane act. Her murder highlights IS's total disregard for the sanctity of human life.  Once again we call on the Syrian and Russian authorities, who are primarily responsible for the protection of civilians, to expedite the release of the rest of the hostages. Furthermore, we urge the authorities to prioritise the protection of vulnerable communities, and reiterate our call for the international community to step up efforts to formulate a sustainable solution for the ongoing conflict in Syria.” 

Thuraya Abou Ammar

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