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Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL180, tabled on 2 June 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) the circumstances of the more than 230 Assyrian Christian hostages taken by Da'esh in the north of Syria in February; (2) the capture by Da'esh of around 35 predominantly Assyrian villages along the Khabur river in the Hassake Governorate; and (3) how many people remain unaccounted for following those captures.

Answered on

9 June 2015

We understand that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are still holding more than 200 Assyrian Christians who were abducted in February from villages along the Khabour river in Hassakeh Province of North-East Syria. We believe that, in another act of appalling barbarity, ISIL executed at least 15 of the hostages, and that 23 Assyrian Christians have since been released following the payment of ransom money by the families, and another two freed when the area was liberated at the end of May. We remain concerned for the remaining hostages, most of whom are women, children and elderly people. We support the UN Security Council Statement condemning the abductions and demanding the Christians immediate release.

The UK is committed to defeating ISIL, an organisation that has no place in today’s world. We will continue to work with the Global Coalition of more than sixty countries to ensure that ISIL no longer poses a threat to the people of the region, to international stability or to our own national security.