Islamic State releases 22 Assyrian Christian captives

News reports have highlighted the fact that the so-called Islamic State has released 22 elderly Assyrian Christians that it kidnapped from villages in the North-East of Syria.

The captives were taken earlier in 2015, though according to the UK based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, estimates put the remaining group at about 150 people, after ISIS militants captured more than a dozen villages in the Khabur region on February 23. Christian communities have resided in this area for over a millennia and many of the residents are of Kurdish heritage.

There are differing views as to whether a ransom had been paid for the release of the 22 individuals and this release follows a further release of captives that took place in March 2015.