Qatar Denies Paying Ransom in Servicemen Swap Deal

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Qatari ambassador Ali bin Hamad al-Marri slammed on Wednesday media reports claiming that his country has paid large amounts of money in the swap deal that saw the release of Lebanese soldiers a day earlier, al-Joumhouria daily reported.

“Qatar did not pay a single dollar but only led the role of mediator which took plenty of time,” al-Marri told the paper.

On the servicemen that are still captive by the Islamic State, al-Marri confirmed that there are no ongoing negotiations between his country and the Islamic State to release the rest of the soldiers, but expressed Qatar's readiness to “carry out any humanitarian action for the sake of Lebanon.”

On Tuesday, 16 servicemen -13 policemen and three soldiers- that were captured in 2014 by al-Qaida affiliated al-Nusra Front were released in a swap deal that involved the release of more than a dozen Islamist prisoners from Lebanese and Syrian prisons, including the former wife of Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Saja al-Dulaimi.

It also gave al-Nusra several trucks of humanitarian aid.

The list of demands that saw the release of the servicemen included paying $48 million that media reports said were paid by Qatar.

Nine servicemen are still held captive by the Islamic State group.

The prisoner exchange comes 16 months after al-Nusra and the IS briefly overran the town of Arsal on Lebanon's eastern border with Syria after clashes with Lebanese troops.

The groups withdrew under a truce deal, but around 30 hostages with them.

Four of the hostages were subsequently executed by the two groups, including Mohammed Hamieh, whose body was turned over to Lebanese authorities on Tuesday morning in the first stage of the deal.



Comments 3
Missing humble 02 December 2015, 11:00

I trust Qatar, entirely and completely....whatever they say is always true even when they lie.

Thumb _mowaten_ 02 December 2015, 13:37

Qatar didnt pay a "ransom" to nusra, they pay them wages.

Missing CFTC 02 December 2015, 15:14

@mowaten E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-T. Still laughing since the day you declared with a straight face you were a shiaa atheist and also a member of hezbollah with only one account. I think i will also continue to laugh at your statement "they pay them wages. ". Thank you Thank you