Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Two Spanish scribes freed in Syria  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - The Peninsula - 31/03/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Two Spanish journalists kidnapped in northern Syria last September have been freed by their captors, ending a six-month ordeal in the hands of an extremist Islamist group that continues to hold more than 40 other western hostages



Javier Espinosa, a veteran correspondent for the Spanish daily El Mundo, and Ricardo Garc­a Vilanova, a freelance photographer working with him, were handed over to Turkish authorities yesterday night near the Syrian town of Tal Abiyad, not far from where they were seized 194 days ago



The pair had been held in the nearby city of Raqaa, which fell to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (IsiL) last May and remains a stronghold of the radical organisation even after an internecine fight with other Syrian opposition groups, who ousted them from nearby Idlib and Aleppo province over the past month



It is widely believed that the bulk of the remaining hostages, comprising journalists, aid workers and priests, have also been imprisoned in Raqaa since their capture, or were moved there recently, as Isil forces retreated east with rebels in pursuit



The scale of the hostage crisis in northern Syria, in terms of the numbers held and length of their detention, exceeds most other similar incidents anywhere in the world in recent decades. The victims come from at least 10 countries, including the US, France, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark and Peru



Until recently, there had been no communication with the hostage-takers or their proxies, and their demands had been unclear. Even after intensive efforts by European governments to make contact, no key co-ordinating figure within Isil has emerged. The fate of the captives seems contingent on the whim of local warlords



The jihadists holding the hostages are thought to be senior figures within the organisation, which has influence over a vast swath of territory from Fallujah in Iraq, through Syria's eastern deserts and oil fields, and on to Raqaa and Al Bab in eastern Aleppo province



Throughout 2013, Isil gained a foothold in Aleppo and Idlib, imposing hardline Islamist rule in towns and cities it had conquered, often through brutal, indiscriminate violence. Hostage-taking became a tool to impose both fear and influence. Prisoners were also seized in a bid to trade them or Islamist prisoners held in Syria and elsewhere




Some hostages, including James Foley, the American videographer who was seized near the northern town of Binish, have been held for more than 18 months. Others, including five European doctors from aid group Mdicins sans Frontires, were captured this year in northern Latakia. A group from the International Committee of the Red Cross was seized last October



The families of many of those held have avoided publicising their cases, fearing a raised profile may amplify their kidnappers' demands. Others, such as Espinosa's wife, Mnica Garc­a Prieto, had chosen to make public appeals directly to his captors in the hope that personalising his ordeal would advance his release



Espinosa had reported from the Middle East for much of the past 12 years and had worked extensively among opposition communities in northern and western Syria. He narrowly escaped death in Homs in February 2012, when a rocket fired by the Syrian army hit the house in which he and other reporters were staying, killing Sunday Times correspondent Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik



Both Spaniards were reported to be in good health. Espinosa contacted his newspaper after crossing the Turkish border. He also spoke to his wife, who in response tweeted: "Pure happiness"



After initially doing little to respond to the creeping influence of Isil in northern Syria, Turkey has in recent months attempted to stop the group's recruits from using its borders to cross into Syria. Ankara also allowed new weapons and ammunition into the country that were used by the two main opposition groups to fight Isil in a series of battles from early January, which eventually led it to withdraw to Raqaa



The toll, however, was high, with up to 2,500 opposition fighters thought to have been killed and the Syrian military and its backers able to make strategic advances around the eastern flank of Aleppo, which had remained an opposition bastion for 18 months



The regime's advance saw troops close in on the Sheikh Najjar industrial area in the city's north-east, which was being used as a base for one group of hostages, who were quickly evacuated by their captors. The changing face of the battlefield has added a new complexity to attempts to free the hostages.

 


The Peninsula




  MENA News Headlines
 Jun 25 2016 - Clouds Interiors, an Interior Design Company in Doha Qatar, is Now Offering Office Interior DesignsMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) --> DOHA, Qatar, June 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The founders of Clouds Interiors, a company that offers interior design Qatar business owners can rely on, are pleased to announce that ...

 Jun 25 2016 - IOM Responds to Malaria Upsurge in Bentiu, South SudanMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) IOM Responds to Malaria Upsurge in Bentiu, South Sudan GENEVA, Switzerland, June 24, 2016/APO (African Press Organization)/ -- IOM is scaling up resources to respond to an upsurge in ...

 Jun 25 2016 - Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016: 214,861 Deaths: 2,861MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016: 214,861; Deaths: 2,861 GENEVA, Switzerland, June 24, 2016/APO/ -- IOM reports an estimated 214,861 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea ...

 Jun 25 2016 - New Fantasy Novel by D.L. Jordan Hailed as the Next Harry PotterMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) The Genesis of Destiny, a book by author D.L. Jordan is being compared to Harry Potter and is set to captivate young adults and adults alike. The Genesis of Destiny: Book 1: The ...

 Jun 25 2016 - Thousands of Nigerian Refugees Fleeing Boko Haram in 'Dire Health Situation'Morocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News) Medicins Sans Frontieres reported Thursday that almost 200 Nigerian refugees have died from starvation and malnutrition in the past month while in the Bama refugee camp. ...

 Jun 25 2016 - AfDB Approves $134 Million Loan to Support Morocco's Social Sectors GovernanceMorocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News) ;">Abidjan – The African Development Bank (AfDB) approved, Wednesday in Abidjan, a loan of $134.65 million to support Morocco''s social sectors governance. The ...

 Jun 25 2016 - The Moroccan Antiquated TelevisionMorocco World News
(MENAFN - Morocco World News) Some years ago, the late Larbi Messari, journalist, newspaper editor and former minister of communication told the press that Moroccans were ''audio-visual migrants'' ...

 Jun 25 2016 - SCOTUS Ruling on SDVOSBVOSB Companies Serving the Dept of Veterans AffairsMENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) SCOTUS Ruling on SDVOSB / VOSB Companies Serving the Dept of Veterans Affairs Centered by Patient Care, Driven by Innovation Veterans Serving Veterans Our team has decades of ...

 Jun 25 2016 - Adipic Acid Market Research Value Analysis and Forecasts to 2021MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Adipic Acid Market Research Value Analysis and Forecasts to 2021 ReportsWeb added report on "Global Adipic Acid Consumption 2016 Market Research Report'', the report comprises ...

 Jun 25 2016 - Jordan to sign deal with EU for energy projects at USD101.51mnMENAFN
(MENAFN) Jordan will sign a deal with the EU granting the kingdom almost USD101.51mn in order to support renewable energy projects.Furthemore, the grant will fund the second phase of the renewable ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help