NEW HOPE

Red Cross Identifies Louisa Akavi, Woman Kidnapped By ISIS Five Years Ago

The Red Cross on Sunday identified Louisa Akavi as the nurse who was abducted by ISIS five years ago—in the hopes that in the wake of ISIS’ recent defeat in Syria, she may be rescued and brought home. The New York Times reports that the organization had fought to keep Akavi’s name a secret since her kidnapping, for fear that publicizing information about her abduction would jeopardize the potential for her release. Akavi was kidnapped in 2013 in the Syrian city of Idlib, the Times reports, while she was returning from a trip to deliver medical supplies. Although the group initially discussed her release with her alleged captors, the talks fell apart. Akavi was reportedly detained near American aid worker Kayla Mueller and journalist James Foley, both of whom have since been killed.

But the Red Cross believes that there’s reason to hope Akavi is still alive. In recent months, the group said, it has spoken with patients who claim they’ve been treated by Akavi in the city of Sousa. The Red Cross has since set up a tent in the city, hoping Akavi will seek help. “There is a chance that it will reach her,” the director general of the Red Cross told the Times.