BEIRUT: After more than four months in captivity in war-torn Syria, Lebanese Awad Ibrahim returned safely home to Beirut Wednesday.
“We can’t describe the joy we are feeling right now. It took so long, we didn’t know he would stay there for four months,” Ibrahim’s wife Siham told The Daily Star, minutes before the Turkish Airlines jet carrying her husband touched down at Beirut’s airport.
“Thank God he is here and safe today,” Siham, who waited at the airport with the couple’s three children, added.
Awad, one of 11 Lebanese Shiites who were abducted by a Syrian opposition faction on the outskirts of Aleppo in May, arrived from Istanbul, Turkey, at 8.30 p.m.
Awad’s journey to Beirut started Tuesday morning, when his captors drove him from Aleppo’s Azaz to the nearby Turkish border crossing Kilis. From there, Turkish intelligence personnel transferred him to Gaziantep from where he travelled to Turkey’s capital Ankara.
The 47-year-old is the second of the group of 11 to have been released.
After spending 24 hours in Ankara, Awad traveled to Istanbul along with two Lebanese Interior Ministry officials who were sent to Turkey by Interior Minister Marwan Charbel.
Charbel and a number of politicians were among the many to greet Awad, who was kidnapped in Syria while returning from a pilgrimage in Iran.