Two young Italian female aid workers who had been working on humanitarian projects in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo have been kidnapped by Islamist militants.
The Italian foreign ministry has reportedly said that contact with the women, 20-year-old Greta Rameli and 21-year-old Vanessa Marzullo, is “impossible.”
Although the group responsible for kidnapping the young women has not yet formally been named, a Jordinian newspaper reported that investigators believe it is the same armed Islamist group that has previously kidnapped Western activists and journalists.
The newspaper notes that the women were kidnapped on August 1 and taken west of Aleppo to the town of El Ismo, where they were transported to the home of the head of the local “Revolutionary Council.”
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Marzullo’s father, Salvatore Marzullo, said that he had pleaded with his daughter not to travel to Syria, but that she had insisted on going.
“I tried to reason with her, I tried to convince her in every way I could not to do what she had in mind,” the kidnapped girl’s father said.
Marzullo said that his daughter had sympathized with Syrians’ plight and had taken part in numerous protests and demonstrations in her home city.
According to their Facebook pages, both women have visited Syria on several occasions since 2012. As noted by The Daily Mail, "...on their latest trip they flew to Turkey before sneaking into Syria through Atma - a huge refugee camp on the border between the two countries"
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Ramelli’s most recent Facebook update was on July 31, and shows an image of a young boy holding a rifle in the heavily shelled area of Aleppo.
Italy’s deputy foreign minister said that the country is working “belly to the ground” to find the two missing women.
Photo Source: MailOnline