Army Denies Arrest of Troops in Syria: Exchanged Footage is Video of 2012 Arsal Ambushإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The army command denied on Saturday that troops were held captive by the Free Syrian Army inside the neighboring country, after a video exchanged on social media websites portrayed soldiers arrested by the Syrian rebels.
“The video and the pictures shared online go back to September 16, 2012 when troops where ambushed by FSA fighters in (the northeastern town of) Arsal,” it said in a communique.
It continued: “What was said about the troops being detained in Syrian territories following the army's battles in Abra (neighborhood in the southern city of Sidon) is not true.”
The communique lamented the “defamation campaign against the military institution since the eruption of the fighting in Abra, questioning implicating the FSA in the Lebanese crisis during these tough times.”
Earlier on Saturday, official sources slammed as “fabricated” a video exchanged on social media platforms that shows army troops being arrested by members of the FSA in a plain region on the Lebanese-Syrian border.
“The video and pictures published online showing FSA members seizing military vehicles and kidnapping troops are fake,” the state-run National News Agency said quoting official sources.
The video features FSA members cheering after the arrest of kneeling troops, without showing their allegedly Lebanese military suits.
The FSA fighters were chanting and celebrating “their second victory of the day, after also defeating the Syrian army.”
The footage then shows two vehicles whose number plates have a Lebanese flag.
This comes after the army fought the gunmen of Salafist cleric Ahmed al-Asir in Abra neighborhood of the southern city of Sidon in the past weekend.
At least 17 troops were killed during the clashes, and dozens were wounded.