By clicking on CONTINUE you confirm that you are 18 years and over.
Note: to turn off these warnings you need to set the 'safe mode' to OFF (on the top right)
BEIRUT: The Free Syrian Army denied Wednesday it had kidnapped Lebanese national Hassan Meqdad, hours after the Meqdad family said it had abducted at least 22 Syrian rebels and threatened to kidnap Qatari, Saudi and Turkish nationals to swap them for their missing kin.
“We have nothing to do with the kidnapping of that man,” spokesman for the FSA Col. Fahd Masri told LBCI television.
He said information made available to the FSA has it that Hassan was kidnapped Monday in the Damascus area of the holy shrine of Sayyida Zainab.
Earlier Wednesday, the Meqdad family said that it had abducted as many as 26 Syrian rebels in Lebanon.
"Kidnappings are taking place in large numbers," said Maher Meqdad, better known as Abu Ali, a member of and spokesman for the Meqdad family.
Almayadeen TV broadcast footage showing at least two men the Meqdad family said it had kidnapped.
One of the men urged the FSA to release Hassan Meqdad.
Maher Meqdad, the spokesman, who was addressing a news conference in Burj al-Barajneh, Beirut, said "the military wing of the Meqdad family was responsible for kidnapping members and supporters of the Free Syrian Army across Lebanon.”
The family said that among the captives were a captain in the FSA and another wounded officer who was snatched in north Lebanon.
The spokesman held the Lebanese government, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey responsible for Hassan’s kidnapping “because they support the FSA; and, thereby, we cannot guarantee that undisciplined members of the family’s military wing would do something reckless.”
Hassan’s brother, Hatem, told the state-run National News Agency that out of 26 Syrian nationals kidnapped, four have been released due to lack of evidence that they were members of the FSA.
The family vowed to kidnap more FSA members unless Hassan is released.
“We will deal with the issue so long as the Lebanese state does not,” the family warned.