BEIRUT: The Free Syrian Army will resume its mediation efforts to win the release of nine Lebanese pilgrims held by Syrian rebels because of an intervention by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, an FSA official said Wednesday.
“A delegation of leading figures from the Free Syrian Army will head to Azaz to work on freeing the kidnapped [pilgrims] on the request of former Prime Minister Hariri,” FSA official Louay Meqdad told Future TV.
Future Movement MP Oqab Saqr said Hariri and FSA officials were eager to continue mediation to secure the hostages’ freedom.
The nine pilgrims were kidnapped last year in the Azaz district of Aleppo on their way back from a pilgrimage to Iran.
In an interview on Future TV, Saqr said he had spoken to Maher Meqdad, the spokesperson of the Lebanese Meqdad clan, about his brother’s whereabouts. Hassan Meqdad went missing in Damascus last year, prompting his family to take their own hostages.
Saqr said that contrary to media reports, Meqdad had been snatched by a group belonging to the Syrian regime and not the opposition.