SHAFAQNA- Families of the abducted Lebanese soldiers called on Hezbollah’s secretary-general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, to help free their sons, a day after a member of the resistance group was released in a swap deal.
It has been a frustrating and painful four months for the families of the 28 soldiers and policemen who were abducted by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and Syria’s al-Qaeda branch, al-Nusra Front during a five-day battle with the army in the northeastern town of Ersal on the border with Syria in August.
In a press conference at their sit-in camp in Riad al-Solh Square, the relatives said in a statement that “following Hezbollah’s shocking liberation of their member from the hands of terrorist groups in Syria, and the huge betrayal we experienced, we have decided to escalate our protest as of Friday morning.”
They then called on Nasrallah to release their sons in the same manner Hezbollah’s fighter Imad Ayyad was released.
According to a Hezbollah statement, the 24 year-old Hezbollah member was captured last month by Islamist militants in Qalamoun and was released Tuesday in exchange for two jihadists held by the resistance group after weeks of negotiations.
“The Lebanese government should take a clear decision to resolve the plight of our sons and bring them back by any possible means… Hezbollah is not stronger than the state and they were able to liberate their prisoner,” the statement added.
After vowing to close roads across Lebanon with burning tires on Friday, the families told their fellow Lebanese citizens not to blame them for the inconvenience of road blockage, “but to blame the government for failing to release our sons.”
ISIS last week postponed an announced execution of seven of the soldiers after the Lebanese government agreed to revoke the death sentences handed down to Islamist inmates in Roumieh Prison.
Since the abduction, ISIS has beheaded two soldiers, while Nusra shot a third.
Sources told Al-Akhbar that the fate of the hostages is no longer in the hands of militants in the Qalamoun area, where the soldiers are being held, but in the hands of ISIS leader and its self-proclaimed “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.