Incident Summary:

05/20/2017: Assailants abducted 31 people, including three Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) members and 28 civilians, in Jazrat al-Boushams, Deir ez-Zor, Syria. At least 19 civilians were shot and killed and the corpses were set on fire a short time later while the three SDF members were executed and their bodies were publicly exposed in al-Kaber village on May 21, 2017. The remaining nine civilians were shot and killed and their bodies were discovered on May 22, 2017. No group claimed responsibility; however, sources attributed the attack to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).




Middle East & North Africa

region/u.s. state:

Deir ez-Zor

Jazrat al-Boushams

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Not Applicable
Specific Description Civilians
Nationality of Target Syria
Target Type: Terrorists/Non-state Militia
Name of Entity Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
Specific Description Members
Nationality of Target Syria
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 31
US Hostages 0
Days of Kidnapping 2
Outcome Hostage(s) killed (not during rescue attempt)
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Incendiary Arson/Fire
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Hostage numbers conflict across sources. Following GTD protocol, the most recent reliable estimates are reported here.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 31 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 31
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"12 Bodies Allegedly Executed by IS Found in Northeast Syria," Latin American Herald Tribune, May 22, 2017."
"Islamic State kills villagers, captures fighters in Deir al-Zor - Syrian Observatory," Reuters UK, May 20, 2017."
"IS in Syria 'executes' 19 civilians: monitor," Gulf Times, May 20, 2017."