Families of Slain Fighters in Tall Kalakh Give Authorities 48-Hour Ultimatum, Demand Expulsion of Syrian Envoyإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The families of the Lebanese fighters who were killed in Syria's Tall Kalakh recently warned of staging rallies across Lebanon on Monday if the authorities failed to retrieve the bodies of the men over the weekend, demanding the expulsion of Syrian ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali.
“If we don't retrieve the corpses by Sunday we will invade the streets,” head of committee formed to follow up the case of slain Tall Kalakh fighters Sheikh Mohammed Ibrahim told reporters.
He describe the Syrian ambassador as a “criminal,” calling on authorities to expel him until he returns with the corpses.
Ibrahim also demanded the release of the fighters, who were detained by Syrian authorities.
“We want the men who were arrested to return before the corpses of the remaining fighters,” he pointed out.
Earlier, General Security chief Brig. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim briefed Prime Minister Najib Miqati on the ongoing contacts with Syrian authorities to return the bodies.
According to a statement released by Miqati's press office, the general security chief said that the bodies will be retrieved once the identification of the bodies ends.
Al-Joumhouria newspaper said earlier that Lebanese authorities are carrying out intensified negotiations with Syria to recover to the corpses of six fighters, who were identified by their families.
According to the newspaper, the General Security chief held talks with the families on Wednesday, who were able to identify them by distinguishing certain marks on their bodies.
However, the daily reported that the bodies of four remaining men still need to be identified, pointing out that these fighters might not be Lebanese citizens.
On Sunday, Syrian authorities handed over the corpses of three fighters through the Arida border-crossing in the North.
The corpses had been identified as those of Mohammed al-Mir, Khodr Mustafa Alameddine, and Abdul Hamid Ali Agha.
Conflicting reports had emerged over the total number of Lebanese fighters killed in the town of Tall Kalakh.
Media reports had said that 14 Salafists, who mostly hail from northern Lebanon, were killed on November 30 in an ambush carried out by Syrian regime forces as they infiltrated Tall Kalakh to fight alongside the Free Syrian Army.
One report said that around three men arrested in the deadly ambush will not be handed over to Lebanese authorities and will be tried in Damascus instead.
Several others have reportedly escaped and sought refuge with the rebel FSA.