At least 100 Kurdish civilians were kidnapped by IS militants from Ain Issa in Syria Raqqa. File photo
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Hasakah, Syria – The Islamic State (IS/ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot, took more 100 Kurdish citizens as hostages over the past few days in Ain Issa of Tel Abyad suburbs in the province of Raqqa, northeastern Syria.
The Syrian opposition-linked Media Office in Raqqa reported that the organization kidnapped entire Kurdish families as captives from the northern countryside of the town of Ain Issa, pointing out that they are held captives by the IS militants in Tel Abyad.
The source also pointed out that the city of Raqqa is witnessing the exodus of a large number of IS militants with their families towards the town of Ain Issa, following the confiscation of Kurdish citizens’ houses in the town.
This comes amid intensified air strikes by the fighter jets of the international coalition hitting the IS headquarters in the province of Raqqa and its surroundings.
Speaking to ARA News in Raqqa, activist Baz al-Furati said that for the first time the IS group used thermal rockets against the coalition’s aircrafts after more than seven air raids on Raqqa suburbs on Tuesday.
Al-Furati pointed out that the U.S.-led coalition’s fighter jets targeted the municipality of Ratla southwest of Raqqa and some of the IS centers in the area of al-Sihil, coinciding with smoke pillars rising from the southern areas of Raqqa.
“In the meantime, the pro-regime warplanes launched this morning two air strikes targeting Rashid Stadium in central Raqqa, and the IS-held Criminal Police building near the Rashid Stadium, without causing casualties,” al-Furati added.
Raqqa province is the only Syrian Province which is completely controlled by the Islamic State, after nearly two months of seizing the previously regime-held Squad 17, brigade 93 and the military airport of Tabqa, the last regime base in the province.
In other developments, the Islamic State group released on Tuesday about 75 students from the Kurdish city of Kobane (Ain al-Arab) in the province of Aleppo, northern Syria, after months of captivity, local sources reported.
Hussein Abdel Salam, civil rights activist based in the city of Aleppo, stated to ARA News that the IS group released the Kurdish students on Tuesday afternoon in the city of Manbij, following the arrest of about 150 students, three months ago, and they are on their way back from the city of Aleppo to Kobane.
“They were exposed to kidnapping after performing high school exams in Aleppo, beside a number of students at Aleppo University,” Abdel Salam reported, adding that the Kurdish students are in a good health.
“They are now on their way from Manbij to the Turkish territory and from there to the city of Kobane,” Abdel Salam added.
Several negotiation processes failed between the organization of the Islamic State and the YPG forces for the release of these students over the past three months.
Noteworthy, the city of Kobane is witnessing fierce battles between the Kurdish forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) and the Islamic State extremist militants. The IS militants use heavy weapons, while the YPG forces are using light weapons, local sources from the city of Kobane reported.
Reporting by: Redwan Bizar and Jiwan Ibrahim
Source: ARA News