Isil hostages freed by Syrian troops
Isil militants shot and killed two children during an operation to liberate a group of hostages from southern Syria that had been held by the terror group since July.
Syrian troops, led by Russian officers, liberated the 19 women and children held by Isil. The 19 women and children were among 30 people kidnapped in July when Isil ambushed residents in the town of Sweida and went on a killing spree that left at least 216 people dead.
The rare attacks in the province, populated mainly by Syria’s minority Druze, came amid a government offensive elsewhere in the country’s south.
The coordinated attacks across the province, which included several suicide bombings, devastated the community and shattered the calm of a region that had been largely spared from the worst of the violence of Syria’s seven-year long civil war.
The Russian commander who led the attack said the hostages were kept in brutal conditions, keeping them in pits where they could barely sit or lie down, giving them no food for days and providing no medical care.
Russia is a key ally of Syrian president Bashar Assad and wields significant power in the war-torn country.