Syrian military frees hostages and kills Islamic State fighters in raid

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The Syrian army freed civilian hostages and killed the Islamic terrorists who abducted them in the Humeima region in northeast Syria Thursday.

The hostages included a group of women and children who were taken on Oct. 20 and another group that included mostly women and children who had been held since July 25, according to the state-run SANA news agency. Both groups were taken from the Sweida city area following a string of suicide bombings in the area that killed 200 people.

The attacks have targeted the Druze minority population in the Sweida area of southwest Syria, prompting concern from U.S. lawmakers who say the recent massacres don’t get the attention they deserve.

Democratic lawmakers led by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., called on the Trump administration to condemn the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s attack against the Druze community.

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“We are also concerned about recent reports that the administration has embraced an expanded mission in Syria beyond the complete defeat of IS, which may detract from protecting displaced person and minority populations from from ISISs continued terrorist threat,” the Democrats wrote.

They are also concerned that the Trump administration equates the loss of Islamic controlled territory with defeat while the terrorists have fled into remote areas of Syria.

“This will continue to threaten the safety of displaced and minority populations like the Druze,” the lawmakers said.

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The group includes Iraq War veteran Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass.

A U.S. State Department countered that the Trump administration has consistently condemned IS’s tactics.

“We stand with all communities that have been victimized by ISIS and will continue to do so,” a spokesman for the State Department said.

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A video released Tuesday showed a Druze woman being executed by extremists who threatened to kill more hostages if Islamic State fighters weren’t freed. Last month, six Druze hostages were free in exchange for wives or other relatives of Islamic State fighters.

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