DAMASCUS, Syria, The Isis released at least 270 out of 400 civilians the militant Islamist group captured since it recently began battling the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the eastern city of Deir al-Zour.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported civilians were kidnapped beginning Saturday in the Baghaliyeh area of Deir al-Zour. Those released included women, children and men older than 55.
The remaining males aged between 15 to 55 will be questioned by the Islamic State and “whoever was dealing with regime forces will be attending a Sharia course,” the group writes.
“We fear for the safety of the remaining group of prisoners; and we still do not know for sure if there are still women in captivity,” Rami Abdel-Rahman, the head of the monitoring group, told DPA.
At least 160 regime soldiers and officers have been killed or executed since battles in the Baghaliyeh district began. Nearly 100 Islamic State militants have died, with some detonating themselves in suicide attacks.
The United Nations estimates the Islamic State has about 3,500 people held as slaves in Iraq who are mostly women and children from the Yazidi Kurdish religious group.
In some cases, actions by the Islamic State may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and “possibly genocide,” according to a report released Tuesday.