Turkey blamed for Lebanese pilgrims hostage drama in Syria
They told Press TV on Monday that the region where the pilgrims are held along Turkey-Syria border is run by Turkish security officers.
The kidnappers, financed by Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, have told the families of the abductees that the key to their release remained in the hand of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, an allegation the families deny outright.
On their way back from a pilgrimage in Iran, eleven Lebanese pilgrims were kidnapped in the Syrian city of Aleppo last year. Two of them were released in August and September.
The families of the pilgrims have called on the Lebanese government to undertake further efforts for their release. They have also decided to hold sit-in protests outside companies affiliated with the Turkish government in a bid to get their message heard.
On January 3, Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah called on the Lebanese government to enter into direct talks with the kidnappers.
“The way the government has dealt with this case is not satisfactory with all due respect to the efforts by officials…but now is the time to directly negotiate with the kidnappers and designate a Lebanese official to do so,” Nasrallah added.
Syria has been the scene of turmoil for nearly two years and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the unrest.
The Syrian government says the chaos, which began in the country in March 2011, is being orchestrated from outside and there are reports that a very large number of the armed militants are foreign nationals.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in a speech on Sunday that the ongoing conflict in the country is not between the state and the opposition, but between the nation and its enemies.
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