Lebanon News

Captured soldiers: They will kill us, if Hezbollah remains in Syria

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

BEIRUT: Nusra Front released a video of captured soldiers and members of the Internal Security Forces asking Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria or else their kidnappers would kill them.

"This apostate group is killing our Sunni families in Syria while it has no business in doing so. I call on my people in Taraya to hold protests against this apostate group. If they don't, we will be killed,” a soldier who identified himself as Mahmoud Maarouf Hamaye said.

Hamaye was among nine ISF officers and troops who were seated in a group with a large tent-like material hanging in the back alongside the Nusra Front black flag.

“If you don't withdraw from Syria, these people will kill us. You have no business in Syria and I am a Shiite,” an ISF officer said, addressing the camera.

“I call on my relatives and every Shiite [to know] that Hezbollah has nothing [to do in Syria] ... they are killing heroes.”

The video was released Friday evening on the YouTube channel of the so-called Network of the White Beacon Correspondents, a group that publishes statements and video issued by the Al-Qaeda-linked group.

The five-minute video was titled "bits from a movie of Lebanese security forces demanding Hezbollah's withdrawal from Syria."

Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria are still holding 11 soldiers as well as the body of a deceased soldier. Nusra Front still holds 15 ISF members and three soldiers.

The security members were captured during the battle between militants from Syria and the Lebanese Army after the arrest of Emad Joumaa, a commander of an ISIS brigade, took place in the border region of Arsal.

For five days, troops battled the gunmen in a fight described by the Army as an organized plan to gain control over Arsal. The clashes ended with a cease-fire and the withdrawal of the militants from Arsal.

In the video broadcast by two local channels, another hostage asked residents of his Bazalyeh village to block roads and demand Hezbollah withdraw from Syria "because they and everyone else don't care about us."

“I want to reassure my family that I am OK. But if Hezbollah continues to interfere in things that are none of its business, then I will not be OK. We will die if Hezbollah continues in Syria, regardless of how Nusra Front is treating us in a good manner [now],” an ISF officer said.

Raising his voice, the security member said the bombings in Beirut’s southern suburbs began after Hezbollah announced that it had regained control of the Syrian town of Qusair.

“Is it of Muslim values to help an oppressor against the Muslim community?” another asked.

One of the captured police officers insisted that they were the ones who asked Nusra Front to record the video and “speak against Hezbollah."

“Nusra Front is not what you think. God sees how we are being treated by Nusra Front. We pressured them to go public to speak against Hezbollah.”





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