Report: Islamic State Kidnaps 300 Cement Workers in Syria

SYRIA, Damascus : DAMASCUS, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 26: Smoke rises after the war crafts belonging to the Syrian army bombed the residential areas in opposition controlled Al-Qabun town of eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria on February 26, 2016. Muhammed Khair / Anadolu Agency
Muhammed Khair / Anadolu Agency/AFP

Syrian state media SANA has reported the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has kidnapped 300 cement workers just 30 miles northeast of Damascus.

A source within the al-Badia cement company told SANA the abduction occurred in Dumeir, “an area where militants launched a surprise attack against government forces earlier this week.” The source also said the company has not had any success contacting the workers.

Nadim Kreizan, a local official, claimed people saw the Islamic State load “about 125” workers “on buses headed toward areas more firmly under ISIS control.”

Ramdi Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that 140 people escaped the Islamic State attack. He also said “he believes 150 to 250 factory employees were missing” and that “no less than 170 were captured.”

On Tuesday night, the Islamic State attacked areas held by Syrian forces near Damascus. The next day, Syrian rebels attacked a Kurdish neighborhood near Aleppo. They killed 18 people.

The Islamic State admitted they “attacked a Tishrin power station 50 km (30 miles) northeast of the capital.” The terrorist group also attacked the military around the airport “using five bomb-laden cars.” They killed twelve soldiers.

The attacks come only days after Syrian and Russian forces defeated the Islamic State at the ancient city of Palmyra. The forces discovered a mass grave of victims, including women and children. They “identified 45 bodies so far.” Authorities determined the grave held 24 civilians, including three children. They believe the terrorist group beheaded some of the victims.

The military moved the bodies to a military hospital in Homs.

The terrorist group held the ancient city for 10 months.

Rami Abdulrahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the Islamic State lost over 400 militants in the fight. He also described the loss “as the biggest single defeat for the group since it announced its cross-border caliphate nearly two years ago.”

They also dismantled at least 150 land mines inside the city. Maamoun Abdul-Karim, head of Syria’s antiquities and museums, said his team could not reach certain areas due to the mines and bombs. Officials said the militants wanted to set off the mines “simultaneously as the army moved in.”

During the ten-month reign, the Islamic State slaughtered at least 280 people. They released a video on July 4 that showed children executing 25 members of the Syrian forces in the city’s ancient Roman amphitheater. A large crowd witnesses the execution, cheering on the boys to pull the trigger. The Islamic State even placed young children in the front row to witness the executions.