ISIS Militants Abduct three hundred Cement Workers Close Syrian Capital

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 6:49 PM

Meanwhile, the U. N. special messenger for Syria said the following circular of peace talks in Geneva was expected to start following week, around April thirteen.

In a brazen assault close the Syrian capital, Islamic State militants on Thursday abducted three hundred cement workers and contractors in an area northeast of Damascus, Syrian state TV reported as fighting elsewhere in the country also worsened.

Meanwhile, the U. N. special messenger for Syria said the following circular of peace talks in Geneva was expected to start following week, around April thirteen. Staffan de Mistura said the new circular should focus on a political process that he hoped would lead to a "concrete or genuine beginning of a political transition."

State TV said Thursday'south mass abduction of workers from the al-Badia Cement Company took space in Dumeir, an area where militants launched a astonishment attack against government forces earlier this week. State-run news agency SANA quoted a source in the company as saying that there has been number success in efforts to set up contact with any of the workers.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syria conflict, said earlier in the day that contact was lost with dozens of workers in Dumeir.

Number further details of the abduction were immediately known and there has been number claim of responsibility. Mass abductions have taken space on occasion in Syria during the country'south devastating civil war, presently in its sixth year, most frequently of religious minorities such as Christians.

The abduction came as fighting with IS militants raged in northern Syria on Thursday. Syrian opposition fighters have advanced on strongholds of the Islamic State group, including the IS-held town of al-Rai in northern Aleppo along the border with Turkey.

De Mistura told reporters in Geneva that he's also embarking on a tour that'll get him to Damascus and the Iranian capital of Tehran and possibly also the Jordanian capital, Amman, in look for of an understanding about what could be a framework of a political transition.

Two rounds of "proximity talks" involving Syrian opposition and government representatives in Geneva have ended without any progress on ways to finish the war in Syria, presently in its sixth year.

Earlier Thursday, January Egeland, de Mistura'south humanitarian aid adviser, said he's "disappointed" with recent efforts to obtain aid convoys into hard-to-reach and besieged areas, and called on the government to "live up to its promises."

Also speaking in Geneva, Egeland told reporters that "April was supposed to be our best month" but that aid delivery is "not getting better and better, it'south actually slowing down."

Humanitarian assistance to Syria'south people is portion of an international response to the country'south crisis that also includes a U. S.-Russia-brokered cease-fire that's largely held over the last month.

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