Aleppo Revolutionary Council Denies Link to Abductors, Says Received Statement from Mediatorإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Abu Abdullah al-Halabi, the official spokesman for the Syrian Revolutionary Council for Aleppo and its Countryside, on Friday stressed that his council had nothing to do with a previously unknown armed group which on Thursday claimed responsibility for the May 22 abduction of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims.
Halabi said a statement sent by the alleged abductors to Al-Jazeera television was not received by his council which learned about it from a “common mediator.”
On Thursday a previously unknown armed group calling itself "Syrian Revolutionaries - Aleppo Countryside" said that the abductees are in its custody and that they are in good health.
A statement carrying the group’s signature and sent to Al-Jazeera said negotiations to release the abductees “would only be possible after (Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan) Nasrallah apologizes for his latest speech.”
The TV network also aired images of the abductees’ passports, saying they were sent by the group.
“We have decided to keep the Lebanese abductees after we learned that some of them are involved in the crimes and massacres committed by the regime and they are currently under interrogation,” al-Halabi told Al-Jazeera on Thursday.
But on Friday he told al-Jadeed television: “The abductors have nothing to do with our council … I don’t have any links with this group of any kind, there is rather a mediator between me and them who passed on their statement.”
“We did not receive a copy of the statement, but when it was issued and given the fact that we are in Aleppo, we clarified its content and said we have nothing to do with it,” Halabi added.
“The kidnappers sent the images to Al-Jazeera in a certain way and not through us,” he went on to say.
“I think that the abductors will launch a website to publish a video featuring the abductees in order to prove what they said in the statement,” Halabi added.
“The group said they want an official apology from (Hizbullah) Secretary-General (Sayyed) Hassan Nasrallah and that they won’t release the abductees except after the release of Hussein Harmoush,” one of the first officers to defect after the Syrian uprising began. Harmoush fled to Turkey but was later arrested by authorities during a special operation.
Halabi noted that the kidnappers’ problem is “with Nasrallah and, God willing, they will release them after they receive an apology.”
Asked what would happen if Nasrallah refuses to apologize, Halabi said: “The problem will be between the abductors and secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah and we know that the issue is dangerous and we want them to return safe” to their country.
“It’s the first time such an abduction happens and it has shocked us, we the revolutionaries,” Halabi added, claiming that “Nasrallah is committing deeds more horrible than those committed by (Syrian President) Bashar Assad.”
“Had it not been for the support of Hizbullah and Iran, the regime would have collapsed long ago,” Halabi said. “What have we done so that they face us with all this killing?” he added.
“We want the abductees to return safe, but whoever committed massacres against us will be held accountable,” Halabi added.