BEIRUT: The Military Hospital in Badaro Monday received the body of the Lebanese Army soldier who was beheaded by ISIS militants last week, with the military confirming that it was Ali Sayyed as initially reported.
An Army statement said: “Around 16:00 today, the Army Intelligence was handed over the body of one of the missing soldiers which will be transported to the central military hospital where DNA tests will be conducted for identification.”
The news has ended days of uncertainty about Sayyed's fate after pictures emerged Friday of his beheading followed by a video Saturday.
Sayyed, who was among 11 missing troops captured by ISIS during clashes that erupted in Arsal earlier this month, was handed over to the Lebanese Red Cross at an Army checkpoint in Ain al-Shaab at the entrance to the border village of Arsal, security sources told The Daily Star.
They said the body was delivered by the Islamic Medical Association, a Qatari-funded local health organization affiliated to the Union for Relief and Development Associations in Lebanon - otherwise known as “ighatheyya" - that has recently focused on delivering humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees.
According to the source, an IMA vehicle brought the body from the outskirts of Arsal to the entrance of the town where it was transferred to a Lebanese Red Cross ambulance.
Referring to IMA, Muslim Scholars Committee member Hussam al-Ghali said earlier, “A local organization from the village will receive the body directly from ISIS.”
Ghali said the areas controlled by ISIS on the outskirts of Arsal were closer and easier to access than locations under the control of the Nusra Front. He confirmed that there had been direct contact with ISIS militants but did not disclose any information concerning the identity of the mediator.
Red Cross sources said Sayyed’s corpse was now being transported to the military hospital in Beirut.
The only other official confirmation of the development came from Future Movement MP Khaled Zahraman.