Hundreds of Syrian women, children and elderly are dead following an assault by Da’esh operatives from the ISIS terror organization on the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor on Saturday.
The murders were carried out in the suburb of al-Bghailiye in Deir Ezzor city, capital of the province of the same name, according to the Syrian state-run SANA news agency, which quoted local sources.
Some reports of the assault claimed fewer deaths but a higher number of captives, dragged away to Raqqa, the so-called capital of the mushrooming Da’esh “caliphate.”
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimated that closer to 400 civilians were abducted Saturday after Da’esh seized new territory in Syria’s eastern city of Deir Ezzor.
The attack places Da’esh in control of approximately 60 percent of Deir Ezzor City. The oil-rich province borders Iraq.
“After their attack on Deir Ezzor [on Saturday] ISIS 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 Observatory said in a statement to media.
“Those abducted, all of whom are Sunnis, include women, children and family members of pro-regime fighters,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman added.
The hostages were reportedly taken to areas under Da’esh control in the western area of Deir Ezzor province, to the border with the Raqqa province, in the northwestern part of Syria.
According to the Observatory, the attack on Saturday left 85 civilians and 50 regime fighters dead. In addition, 42 member from the “Islamic State” organization (including 12 infiltrators and members who blew themselves up with explosive belts in the same attack) were killed as well, the organization reported on its website.
The report from state-run SANA, quoting local residents, said “around 300 civilians” were killed in the assault, and cited a “massacre.”
If the figures are confirmed it will be one of the highest death tolls in a single day in the nearly 5-year civil war.Hana Levi Julian