Militants behind ICRC workers abduction: Syria opposition

Al-Qaeda-linked militants have been behind the abduction of seven aid workers in northwestern Syria, an opposition source in the Arab country said.

Six workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and a volunteer with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) were kidnapped by gunmen on Sunday near the town of Saraqeb in Idlib Province.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday that militants operating in Syria were behind the abduction.

“The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has freed … International Committee of the Red Cross workers they abducted yesterday on the road linking Saraqeb and Sirmin,” it added.

The al-Qaeda-linked group ISIL has operated in the crisis-hit country since late spring this year.

The group made the comments after the ICRC said three of its workers as well as the SARC volunteer were released.

“Three ICRC colleagues and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteer have been released and are safe and sound. We are waiting for further information about the other three colleagues,” ICRC spokesman, Ewan Watson said, on Monday.

The ICRC has not disclosed the identity, gender or nationality of the abducted workers, but it earlier said that most members of the group were Syrian.

Meanwhile, the ICRC promised to continue its work in Syria.

“We are completely committed to supporting the Syrian population in this difficult moment,” Watson told Swiss public radio, adding that the ICRC does not intend to stop its activities in Syria.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.

By Press TV


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