Lebanon News

Militants will free captives if Hezbollah pulls out of Syria

Lebanese soldiers on armored vehicles drive toward Arsal, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Islamist militants holding members of the Lebanese Army and police said they were willing to release all captured personnel and withdraw their demands if Hezbollah pulls its fighters out of Syria, the Committee of Muslim Scholars told LBCI Wednesday.

Militants from both the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria are still holding 29 Army soldiers and Internal Security Forces members captive.

Six policemen have already been released in “a goodwill gesture” to encourage further negotiations after the end of Arsal clashes.

The militants had presented a list of demands to the government Monday, the contents of which the group was not permitted to disclose. They had previously conditioned their withdrawal from Arsal on the protection of Syrian refugees in Arsal, with the mediation of the Committee of Muslim Scholars, which successfully brokered a truce that ended the five-day clashes in the Lebanese border town.

The committee is now mediating between the militants and the Lebanese government in order to free the remaining security personnel and soldiers.

Earlier this year, Syrian troops backed by Hezbollah drove rebels out of the Syrian region of Qalamoun. Hezbollah is now trying to tighten its noose on Nusra Front fighters who fled to the border with Lebanon during the offensive.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 21, 2014, on page 3.




Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here