DAMASCUS - The Syrian army Thursday successfully set free all the remaining hostages that were taken into captivity by the Islamic State (IS) in southern Syria, state news agency SANA reported.

The Syrian army managed through a “precise and heroic” operation to clash with a group of IS in the town of Hmeimeh in northeast of the city of Palmyra in central Syria and secure 19 children and women who had been captured by IS since July 25, according to the report.

After the intense battles, the Syrian forces secured all the hostages and killed all IS members, said SANA.

In October, the first batch of six hostages was released by IS as part of “negotiations” through mediators, according to activists.

The remaining hostages were supposed to be set free soon after, however, the release of the other hostages comes after battles, not negotiations, according to SANA.

All the hostages were women and children who had been captured by the IS militants during an offensive at dawn of July 25 on areas in the eastern countryside of Sweida province.

Around 30 people were taken hostages at the time, three of whom died while in captivity.

On the day of kidnapping, all hostages had to walk for 12 hours to reach the destination of captivity, where they had to live in tents inside caves of Tulol al-Safa hills in the remote eastern countryside of Sweida province.

The IS militants were still holding areas in the desert region which connects Sweida with the countryside of Damascus and the desert of the central province of Homs where Palmyra is located.