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ISIS kidnaps 130 families in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor

DAMASCUS: (Web Desk)  The ISIS terrorist group has abducted as many as 130 families in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor Province in its latest atrocities in the Arab country, a UK-based monitoring group says.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the Syrian families were kidnapped from a displacement shelter in Deir ez-Zor’s eastern countryside.

It also reported intense fighting between ISIS militants and the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed coalition of mainly Kurdish militants, on the eastern side of Euphrates.

ISIS regularly abducts civilians to use them as human shields or bombers in the face of advances by Syrian army soldiers and allied fighters on the battlefield.

Last September, Syrian government forces managed to enter Deir ez-Zor city, breaking an ISIS siege of nearly three years on government-held parts of the provincial capital.

Two months later, the Syrian military announced that it had fully liberated the Deir ez-Zor city of Bukamal, ISIS’s last urban stronghold.

Now, ISIS controls small pockets of Deir ez-Zor Province, much of them empty desert.

Recent reports say the ISIS-held Syrian territory has shrunk to only one percent from almost half of the country a few years ago.

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