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Nearly 900 civilians abducted by Daesh in Syria in three weeks

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The Daesh terrorists have abducted some 900 Kurds in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo over the past three weeks amid fierce fighting for control of a nearby Daesh stronghold, a Kurdish official and Syrian activists said Friday.
The abductions began shortly after the predominantly Kurdish and US-backed Syria Democratic Forces began an offensive on May 31 to capture the Daesh stronghold of Manbij from the terrorists, AP reported.
The terror group has a history of mass kidnappings in areas they control in Syria and Iraq and have mostly targeted Christians and Kurds in the past.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the 900 civilians were detained near the Daesh-held town of Al-Bab. SDF spokesman Sherfan Darwish said that the seizure is in retaliation for the SDF offensive on the town of Manbij.
“Whenever Daesh is defeated, they retaliate against civilians,” Darwish said, adding that there are whole families among those abducted.
The observatory and Darwish said some of those taken captive have been forced to dig trenches in Daesh-held areas while others are imprisoned in Daesh-run detention centers. Darwish said all captured males above the age of 12 were sent against their will to the frontlines to help fortify Daesh positions.
The report said Daesh terrorists stormed homes in several villages they control near Al-Bab, including Arab, Qabaseen and Nairabiyeh, and took with them mostly men.
In 2014, Daesh abducted nearly 200 Kurdish students near Manbij as they were en route from the Kurdish town of Kobani near the Syrian-Turkish border to the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, the provincial capital, to take their exams. Most were later released.
In February 2015, Daesh kidnapped more than 200 Christians from northeastern Syria. The Christians were released over a period of a year, after Daesh collected millions of dollars in ransom.
Since the offensive to take Manbij began last month, SDF has captured dozens of villages and farms near the town, which is now surrounded from all side as SDF forces slowly push into Manbij.
The town lies along the only Daesh supply line between the Turkish border and the terror group’s self-styled capital, Raqqa. If Manbij is captured, it will be the biggest strategic defeat for Daesh in Syria since July 2015, when it lost the border town of Tal Abyad.
The battle of Manbij has so far claimed the lives of 81 SDF forces and 463 terrorists, according to the observatory.

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