The War on Terror has taken a backseat to domestic politics of late, but ISIS hasn’t gone away. The rogue group is still active in Syria, and have just taken more than 700 hostages at one refugee camp. Some of those are Americans and Europeans. And now reports suggest that the group is systematically executing them.
Vladimir Putin, speaking to reporters, says that ISIS has vowed to kill 10 hostages a day, and that they’ve already begun. “The day before yesterday they executed ten people,” Putin said, “This is just horrible, it is a catastrophe.”
“ISIS fighters attacked the refugee camp in Syria’s Deir-al Zor province last week,” The Daily Mail writes, “and kidnapped some 130 families, including several U.S. and European nationals, who may be foreign fighters or aid workers.”
Some of those hostages are from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. The hostages and soldiers have been taken to the city of Hajin.
Many of the women in the group are believed to be the widows of slain ISIS fighters, some of whom are from Europe.
The ISIS fighters have been communicating with the Russians. “Speaking at the Valdai discussion forum in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Putin said ISIS leaders had made demands, but did not specify what they were,” Daily Mail adds.
Negotiators in Syria have said the group is demanding medicine and food.
However, The Observatory reported this week that negotiations have begun, and that ISIS are demanding ‘food and medical supplies’ in exchange for the hostages’ safe return.
“They have issued ultimatums,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports, “specific demands and warned that if these ultimatums are not met they will execute ten people every day.”
The strength of the ISIS force is still uncertain. The group has been pushed out of many areas in Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces have retaken many areas.
During the fight that led up to the kidnapping, as many as 20 ISIS fighters were killed. Official estimates indicate as many as 3,000 ISIS fighters are still in Syria. This number is an estimate, of course, as many of the remaining fighters have gone into hiding. Actions like this, though, put them squarely in the public eye and invite a swift response.