Syrian rebels release Lebanese hostage

Syrian rebels release Lebanese hostage

PanARMENIAN.Net - Syrian rebels released a Lebanese hostage on Saturday, Aug 25, who was among a group of Lebanese Shi'ite pilgrims kidnapped after crossing into Syria from Turkey in May.

According to Reuters, a rebel source said the release of Hussein Omar, the first hostage to be freed, was a "goodwill gesture".

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said he received a call from Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu confirming the release of Omar.

"(Mikati) wished that Turkish authorities will continue its efforts to release all the kidnapped Lebanese in Syria as soon as possible," a statement from Mikati's office said.

Turkey has strong ties with the Syrian opposition, and most of the leadership of the rebel group the Free Syrian Army is based in Turkey. It also shelters army defectors and allows foreign funds and weapons to reach rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, according to several sources.

Al Jazeera news channel showed footage of Omar crossing on foot into Turkey accompanied by three men and carrying a small bag. It quoted him as saying he was well treated and he urged Arabs to support the revolt against Assad.

The kidnapping of the Shi'ite pilgrims inflamed tension in Lebanon, a country divided between friends and foes of the Syrian armed revolt against Assad.

The kidnapping, with the abduction of another Shi'ite man this month in Syria, triggered abductions of Syrian activists in Lebanon in retaliation.

It revived memories of Lebanon's own civil war, reinforcing fears that the Syria conflict could trigger more instability in Lebanon, where Damascus has had a major influence over politics and security for decades.

 Top stories
The team said they had also been barred from completing work at some sites to which they had been initially admitted.
"The terrorist organization Islamic State is a threat to public safety in Germany as well," said Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.
Until recently, India had largely seen itself as beyond the recruiting territory of international jihadists like al Qaeda.
The political leader of Iraq's Kurds earlier appealed for international military aid to help defeat the Islamist militants.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.