The footage, obtained by AFP, shows a French-speaking militant belonging to the ISIL group, warning that three senior Lebanese politicians, opposed to the Takfiri group, would be responsible for the deaths of the soldiers.
“To the allies of France in Lebanon — (Future Movement leader Saad) Hariri, (Lebanese Forces leader) Samir Geagea, and (Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid) Jumblatt — the Islamic State (ISIL) is at war with Hezbollah, which is meddling in the affairs of Muslims in Sham (Syria) and has killed our women and our children,” AFP quoted the black-clad militant as saying in the video.
“You are therefore responsible for the fate of your fellow citizens. Their future, their life and death, depends on your next decision,” he added.
The al-Nusra Front and 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 four of the hostages so far.
“You are certainly criminals, but you have added to your crimes today by your collaboration with Hezbollah and your transformation of the Lebanese army into a mere puppet in the hands of Hezbollah, with which it oppresses Sunnis,” the ISIL militant added.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Tammam Salam said last week that 16 Lebanese police and soldiers were being held by the al-Nusra Front and the ISIL Takfiris were holding nine others hostage.
Hezbollah has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army to quell a nearly-four-year-long conflict across the Arab country.
The Lebanese group has played a key role in fighting around Damascus, especially in Qalamun, a Syrian region bordering Lebanon.
Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are the main supporters of the militants operating inside Syria.