ISIL abducts 400 Sunni civilians, killed 300 in eastern Syria attack

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Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) massacred 300 Sunni civilians and took 400 more hostage in a Jan. 16 attack on the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor.

ISIL has been accused of mass killings in government-held areas of eastern Deir Ezzor. /AP
ISIL has been accused of mass killings in government-held areas of Deir Ezzor. /AP

“After their attack on Deir Ezzor, ISIL abducted at least 400 civilians from the residents of the Al-Baghaliyeh suburb it captured and adjacent areas in the northwest of the city,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Those abducted, all of whom are Sunnis, include women, children and family members of pro-regime fighters,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Syria’s state news agency SANA, quoting residents, said “around 300 civilians” were killed in the ISIL attack and the 400 captives were taken to areas under ISIL control in the west of Deir Ezzor province and to the border with Raqqa province to the northwest.

In 2014, ISIL carried out the mass execution of hundreds of members of the Sunni Shaitat tribe in Deir Ezzor after they opposed the jihadists.

The Observatory said ISIL now controls about 60 percent of Deir Ezzor city in the oil-rich province which borders Iraq. The Bashar Assad regime still controls parts of Deir Ezzor and a nearby military airport.

ISIL’s offensive in Deir Ezzor came as the Assad’s forces, backed by Russian air strikes, advanced in northern Aleppo province.

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