FSA Says Will Stop Mediating to Release Kidnapped Pilgrimsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The rebel Free Syrian Army announced on Wednesday that it will not mediate anymore for the release of the Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria's Aazaz.
The FSA's Political and Media Coordinator Louay Meqdad told Future TV: “After a meeting of the army's commanders, we have decided to end our negotiations to release the abducted”.
“We have informed (former) PM Saad Hariri and (al-Mustaqbal bloc) MP Oqab Saqr about our decision,” he said, adding that the two Lebanese officials have urged him to carry on with his efforts.
Meqdad explained that their efforts are being interrupted by a “partner” each time they get closer to a solution.
"The parents of the kidnapped men should ask about who sent the MiG airplanes to kill their sons in Aazaz,” he stated.
The Syrian spokesman declared to LBCI: “There is a pro-Assad party that is using this issue for political gains”.
Meqdad accused Hizbullah and (Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel) Aoun's party of taking advantage of this “humanitarian case”.
Families of the 11 Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria briefly blocked on Tuesday the road to the presidential palace in Baabda to protest the ongoing abduction of their loved ones.
One of the relatives explained that the protest is a message to President Michel Suleiman to urge him to exert more efforts to resolve the case of the pilgrims.
The families also staged on Sunday a sit-in in front of the Turkish Embassy in Lebanon, vowing to “take escalatory measures against Turkish interests in Lebanon at the beginning of the new year.”
They held Turkey responsible for the ongoing “humanitarian crime” against the pilgrims, without ruling out the possibility of resorting to kidnappings to resolve the problem.
On May 22, eleven Lebanese pilgrims were kidnapped in Syria's Aleppo district as they were making their way back by land from a pilgrimage in Iran.
One was released in late August and another in September, while the rest remain in Aazaz, Syria.