Al-Meqdad clan’s spokesman Maher al-Meqdad warned that the family’s military wing could resume the kidnapping of Syrians after the Eid al-Fitr holiday if Hassan al-Meqdad was not released by Syrian rebels.
In remarks to a TV station, the spokesman said Monday: “The family took the decision to relieve people during the Eid but we will relaunch our movement after the holidays.”
“The family will hold consultations to take the appropriate decisions,” he warned.
The clan claimed on Wednesday and Thursday to have captured around 20 Syrian nationals and a Turkish man in retaliation for the seizure of their family member Hassan by rebels in Syria last week.
But it later said it was calling off "military operations" and would halt abductions for now.
The deadline ends on Wednesday, the spokesman warned however.
“The Turkish abductee will not be set free as long as Hassan al-Meqdad hasn’t been released,” Maher said.
He reiterated that the clan released Syrians who are not linked to the rebel Free Syrian Army.
On Monday, Syrian Mohammed Adel al-Suleiman Mohammed, who was kidnapped Friday from the area of Beshara al-Khoury in Beirut, was released for not having links to the FSA.
Mohammed is a human rights activist. He pleaded the kidnappers of Hassan al-Meqdad through LBC TV to set him free.
Later on Monday, LBCI said the obscure al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi Brigades also released three kidnapped Syrians.
The wave of hostage-taking prompted Gulf countries to call on all their citizens in Lebanon to leave immediately. Sunni regional powerhouses Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who back the Syrian rebels, were the first, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait.
Asked about 11 other Lebanese kidnapped by Syrian rebels since May 22, the spokesman said the clan’s objective was to set Hassan al-Meqdad free.
“It’s not logical for us to release the Turkish man if the 11 Lebanese were set free,” he said.
Another Turkish national has also been kidnapped but it was not clear who was behind his abduction.
The 11 men were kidnapped in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo on their way home from a pilgrimage to Iran. Conflicting reports have emerged on their fate after Syrian government forces shelled the area of Aazaz where they were being held.
But following talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday, French FM Laurent Fabius informed President Michel Suleiman and Speaker Nabih Berri in a telephone conversation that the pilgrims are alive and doing well.
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