By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
Four months after they were kidnapped by ISIS in July the 19 women and children hostages have been freed by the Syrian army, according to Syrian government sources. The women were shown walking in front of cameras and then eating dinner with a Syrian soldier in front of a large poster of Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad.
ISIS attacked Druze villages in July in southern Syria, murdering more than 200 people and taking dozens hostage. They executed several hostages and it appeared for months that the women would not be released after several negotiations failed to secure their release. Druze across the region, including in Israel, followed the case closely, and today there was rejoicing on social media from Iraq to Syria, Israel and Lebanon, as news emerged that the women and children were safe. “We are all happy now,” one social media wrote. “Thank God, just thank God,” another said.