ISIS MAPPED: Is ISIS back? Have the terrorists returned to power in Syria? | World | News
Is ISIS back?
During a conference in Sochi on Thursday, October 18, Putin said several US and European citizens were taken hostage by ISIS in Syria.
He added the Islamic State was expanding its control in territories on the left bank of the River Euphrates controlled by US-backed forces.
The hostages were reportedly taken on October 13.
Putin said: “They have issued ultimatums, specific demands and warned that if these ultimatums are not met they will execute 10 people every day.
“The day before yesterday they executed 10 people.”
Putin did not specify what the militants' demands were.
TASS, a Russian news agency reported on Wednesday that Islamic State militants had taken the hostages in Syria’s Deir-al Zor province after attacking a refugee camp.
ISIS: Vladimir Putin has claimed ISIS has taken 700 hostages (Image: GETTY)
The agency said the militants had kidnapped around 130 families and taken them to the city of Hajin, in eastern Syria.
A source told TASS: “Militants demand that Syrian Democratic Forces fighting on the side of the US-led coalition release captured IS terrorists and concede several territories on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.
“The Islamic State will execute a hostage every day until their demands are met.
“ISIS attacked a refugee camp while the Syrian Democratic Forces tried to launch an offensive with support from the US-led coalition."
The source noted that the failure of the Syrian Democratic Forces is due to multiple mistakes made US military coordinating the operation.
ISIS map: The map show the city of Hajin, Syria, where the hostages reportedly have been taken (Image: Daily Express)
Have the terrorists returned to power in Syria?
The US-led coalition against the Islamic terrorist group said earlier this year 98 percent of territory once claimed by the ISIS across Iraq and Syria has been recaptured.
And Putin’s claims of the hostage situation have not been confirmed by anyone else so far, other than reporting an attack had, in fact, taken place.
In Washington, the US military cast doubt on Putin’s claims.
An explosion rocks Syrian city during a reported suicide car bomb attack by ISIS (Image: GETTY)
Commander Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman, said they have not received any proof of the large number of hostages.
Commander Robertson said: “While we have confirmed that there was an attack on an IDP (internally displaced persons) camp near (Deir-al Zor) last week, we have no information supporting the large number of hostages alleged by President Putin and we are skeptical of its accuracy.
“We are also unaware of any US nationals located in that camp.”
Russia has been engaged in the Syrian military since September 2015 but has aligned itself with Bashar al-Assad’s regime in opposition to Western nations.
Almost 3,000 Russian troops are currently based in Syria.
Just days ago, Syria declared they had received new, modern missiles from Russia as a means to secure the not only Syria but the entire Middle East.
The weapons were given after it was reported Assad aims to increase his regional allies.