The families of the Lebanese Shiite pilgrims abducted on May 22 in Syria warned that they would target the Free Syrian Army and any of its supporters both in Syria and Lebanon, Al-Jadeed television reported Tuesday.
“Any Free Syrian Army member or supporter, whether in Syria or Lebanon, has now become the target of the pilgrims’ relatives ,” the report said.
The relatives told the station they may “kidnap FSA members to exchange them for the abducted [pilgrims],” adding that they were certain the Syrian rebels were behind the kidnapping.
Israa Hammoud—who was released by the abductors shortly after they intercepted the pilgrims—said that she recognized one of the kidnappers in an LBC report on FSA members along the Turkish-Syrian border.
Earlier on Tuesday the families said that they would escalate their protests after they closed Beirut’s airport road for an hour.
Eleven Lebanese Shiite pilgrims were abducted in Syria’s Aleppo while returning from Iran. Last week, a previously unknown armed group calling itself the “Syrian Revolutionaries—Aleppo Province” said that it was holding the group, while the FSA has repeatedly denied it was involved in the abduction.
Al Jadeed TV reported that the kidnappers asked for an official apology from Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah ( for supporting the Syrian regime in its crackdown ) as a precondition for releasing the kidnapped Lebanese pilgrims.
LBC has reported that the number of Syrian workers in Al Dhahia, a southern suburb of Beirut has significantly decreased, especially after they were subjected to harassment following the kidnapping of the 11 Shiite pilgrims in Syria . This is a mostly Shiite neighborhood and a major Hezbollah stronghold.
According to the report the Syrian workers were subjected to insults , defamation as well as threats of slaughter and hanging. This led to the suspension of a number of construction sites in the area.
Hezbollah is a staunch ally of the Syrian regime, where a predominantly Sunni uprising is trying to oust the Assad family dynasty
Now Lebanon, agencies