Families of captive Lebanese soldiers stage protest in Beirut

The families of the Lebanese soldiers and security officers kidnapped by Takfiri terrorists have staged a demonstration in the capital, Beirut, demanding that the government do more to have their loved ones released.

The protesters converged in downtown Beirut on Sunday, criticizing the Lebanese government for its failure to secure the freedom of the abducted men, and threatening to take matters into their own hands.

“This is a failed government that cannot bring back the sons of its institutions to their mothers,” Omar Haidar, a demonstrator, said, adding that the captives’ families have trusted the Lebanese authorities for too long, and that their patience is running out.

Al-Nusra Front and the ISIL overran the eastern Lebanese town of Arsal, situated about 124 kilometers (77 miles) northeast of Beirut, in August, killing and capturing more than two dozen soldiers and police officers there. They have executed three of the hostages so far.

On December 5, the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front said it had killed a captive Lebanese soldier. The announcement came after Lebanon’s Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said Beirut had detained Saja al-Dulaimi – an ex-wife of ISIL leader, Ibrahim al-Samarrai, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – and their daughter as well as Ola Mithqal al-Oqaily, the wife of al-Nusra Front commander, Anas Sharkas.

Analysts say the Lebanese military could use the women’s arrest as a lever to secure the release of the over 20 army soldiers who have been held hostage by the Takfiri terrorists of the ISIL and al-Nusra Front since August.

Over the past months, Lebanon has been suffering from terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda-linked militants as well as random rocket attacks, which are viewed as a spillover of the conflict in Syria.

The Takfiri ISIL terrorists currently control parts of Syria mostly in the east and north. They have also seized large swathes of land in neighboring Iraq.


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