Lebanon finds remains believed to be soldiers kidnapped by IS

File photo of the Lebanese soldiers  kidnapped by ISIS in 2014
File photo of the Lebanese soldiers kidnapped by ISIS in 2014

A top Lebanese security official said Sunday that authorities had located human remains believed to belong to troops kidnapped by the Islamic State group three years ago.

The announcement came hours after the Lebanese army declared a ceasefire deal with IS along the border with Syria in exchange for information on the missing soldiers.

The head of the General Security agency, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, said IS fighters who had surrendered led his agency and the Lebanese army to the remains.

“We have removed the remains of six bodies. We are expecting the number to go up to eight,” he told reporters gathered in downtown Beirut.

“We believe that these remains belong to the soldiers.”

The troops were among 30 soldiers and police kidnapped by IS and Al-Qaeda’s former Syrian affiliate when they overran the Lebanese border town of Arsal in August 2014.

Relatives of Lebanese soldiers taken hostage by jihadists in 2014 sit inside a tent as they gather in downtown Beirut on August 27, 2017 awaiting news of their loved ones. (AFP PHOTO / ANWAR AMRO)
Relatives of Lebanese soldiers taken hostage by jihadists in 2014 sit inside a tent as they gather in downtown Beirut on August 27, 2017 awaiting news of their loved ones. (AFP PHOTO / ANWAR AMRO)

Four were killed by their captors and a fifth died of his wounds while 16 were released in a prisoner swap in December 2015.

The army has said the missing troops were its “top concern” in its offensive against an estimated 600 IS fighters in the hilly border region.

The missing troops were numbered at nine, but Ibrahim on Sunday only referred to the bodies of eight people and did not give details on a ninth.

He said the remains would be subject to DNA testing to ensure their identities but that he was “almost certain that the case is closed.”

The top official spoke in downtown Beirut after informing the soldiers’ families of the developments.

Relatives of the hostages had gathered for hours in the blistering heat on Sunday to await news of their loved ones, sitting in tents they erected three years ago during protests to pressure the government to find the troops.




6 responses to “Lebanon finds remains believed to be soldiers kidnapped by IS”

  1. Danny Farah Avatar
    Danny Farah

    I hope the Lebanese army will not have mercy on Daesh. Take no prisoner. Behead them as they done to our beloved soldiers. If they want an eye for an eye we shall take their two eyes, nose, and everything attached to their bodies. show them no kindness and terrorize them and purge them out of Lebanon for good.
    The security forces need to go around and everywhere in lebanon and hunt down their followers and spies and anyone associated with them. let them know this will not stand and any traitors must be executed once and for all.
    Long Live Leabnon and rip our dear soldiers. May God help your families and loved ones.

  2. Steve Paul Avatar
    Steve Paul

    Sadly, the LAF is nothing more than a division of HA. 8 less LAF soldiers to coordinate with HA terrorists.

    1. I completely disagree
      The Lebanese army is made up of all types of Lebanese …from all religions and political Affiliation. It is the pride of all the Lebanese people , while the Iranian backed Hezbollah represents 1 sect only out of the 18 Lebanese sects and a significant percentage of the Lebanese people disagree with its policies but are willing to put up with it because of Israeli violations against the Lebanese sovereignty . In other words Israel is to blame for the presence of Hezbollah in Lebanon. A significant percentage of the Lebanese people see Israel and Hezbollah as the enemy

      1. Steve Paul Avatar
        Steve Paul

        Ok, how do you explain LAF M113 APCs in the possession of HA during their “parade” in Syria last year? LAF coordinates with HA and Aoun is an ally of HA. The LAF and HA are two peas in the IRGC pod. America should suspend all military aid to the LAF until it can prove that it is not a subsidiary of HA. For that matter, Lebanon needs a new civil war to root out IRGC influence once and for all.

        1. Hezbollah’s lead role in Arsal “reflects the reality that it sets the agenda as well as operational direction” in Lebanon’s defense operations.
          Hezbollah’s political backing in Lebanon is what truly keeps it at an advantage. In February the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, said Hezbollah was “an essential part of Lebanon’s defence”.
          “What Aoun said reflects that the Lebanese government follows Hezbollah’s directive when it comes to its armed status and how that works together with the LAF,”
          He said Hezbollah wanted to assert its domination based on the doctrine: “The army, the people and the resistance”.
          This sets it up as partner of the army while allowing it to maintain significant influence and portray this tripartite axis as the only effective model for defending the country.
          The Lebanese army and Lebanon’s other security apparatus even help the militia to achieve its wider aims.
          “So, when Hezbollah did its military parade in Qusayr last year, how do you think they brought in all that hardware across the border? The army was there. It waves them across.”

          So HA is de facto the ruler….. all other personas who open thier mouth here and there with all kind of declarations, the commenters here like to hear just continue with the brainwashing Lebanese are used to.

  3. Why do i get the impression that the lebanese army is small and weak. They lost so many lives driving out the palestinians a few years ago, and they can’t even destroy this isis threat. Do they get propert military training, would they be fit enough to work in the US army for a day?

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