Relatives of the kidnapped soldiers burn tires in Dahr al-Baidar, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (The Daily Star/Osama Kadiri)
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Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri defended the Lebanese Army against accusations of human rights abuses in Arsal by the Syrian opposition coalition, as momentum built up for a negotiated solution to release hostages held by jihadists near the border town.Hariri Sunday criticized the main Syrian opposition coalition which wrote to the U.N. Security Council condemning the Army for its raids on Syrian refugee camps in the restive northeastern town of Arsal. Hariri said the comments were harmful to the good relations held between the Syrian opposition and its Lebanese supporters."It is painful to see among the Syrian revolutionaries some who are adopting terrorism and ruining the relations by kidnapping soldiers and threatening civil peace," Hariri said. In his statement, Hariri said that the extremist groups who are holding the Lebanese troops hostage were exploiting them as a way to intimidate the Lebanese people and Army, and were seeking to use Syrian refugee camps as leverage. Although condemning the Syrian opposition's stance, Hariri confirmed in the statement that his position on the Syrian crisis remains intact.
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