‘Kidnapped ICRC workers freed in Syria’

File photo shows foreign-backed militants in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says three of its workers as well as a volunteer with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), who had been kidnapped in northwestern Syria, have been released.

The four were among a team of seven aid workers who were abducted by gunmen near the town of Saraqeb in Idlib Province on Sunday when the team was coming back to the Syrian capital Damascus.

œThree ICRC colleagues and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteer have been released and are safe and sound. We are waiting for further information about the other three colleagues,” ICRC spokesman Ewan Watson said on Monday.

However, Watson did not say who was thought to have been behind the kidnapping.

The ICRC has not disclosed the identity, gender or nationality of the abducted workers, but it earlier said that most of the group were Syrian.

Meanwhile, the ICRC promised to continue its work in Syria.

œWe are completely committed to supporting the Syrian population in this difficult moment,” Watson earlier told Swiss public radio, adding that the ICRC does not intend to stop its activities in Syria.

Also on Monday, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said militants operating in Syria were behind the abduction of the aid workers.

œThe Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has freed … International Committee of the Red Cross workers they abducted yesterday on the road linking Saraqeb and Sirmin.”

Syrian state TV had earlier said the abduction was carried out by the foreign-backed militants.

The al-Qaeda-linked group ISIL has operated in the crisis-hit country since late spring this year.

Kidnappings have become prevalent, particularly of aid workers and foreign journalists in northern parts of Syria.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.


Copyright: Press TV