An Assyrian bishop has confirmed that negotiations with ISIS have stalled after the group demanded $23 million (£15 million) in return for the release of 230 Christian hostages.
The bishop said: “We tried many times to negotiate with the people that captured them and for their release.
“We offered them an amount of money in accordance with the law of jizya [religious tax] but sadly after a week the negotiator between us returned and told us that ISIS wanted $100,000 for each person. They were asking for over $23 million.”
He said: “We are a poor nation. These people have not done anything wrong and won’t harm anyone. We as Assyrians do not have this amount of money you are asking for. “After two days, they [ISIS] told us: ‘The amount the church offered was not acceptable. From now on, we will no longer negotiate with you.”
230 kidnapped people will now be sent to the Court of Sharia in Raqqa, where a Muslim judge from Mosul will deliver their fate.