First Published: 2012-06-02

 

Nasrallah to kidnappers of Lebanese Shiites: Choose between war and peace

 

Hezbollah leader calls for release of Lebanese Shiite pilgrims held in Syria during ceremony commemorating 23rd anniversary of Khomeini’s death.

 

Middle East Online

‘Leave innocent people aside’

BEIRUT - Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called for the release of Lebanese Shiite pilgrims held in Syria in a televised speech on Friday.

"The pilgrims should be returned to their families," Nasrallah said, during a ceremony commemorating the 23rd anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

"If your problem is with Hezbollah... or a political party in Lebanon and its position on the events in Syria, leave innocent people aside and solve your problem with us," he said, addressing the kidnappers.

The Shiite militant group Hezbollah is considered Iran's proxy in Lebanon and much of its weapons transit through Syria.

The militant group has steadfastly expressed its support for the regime of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad since the outbreak of the uprising on March 15, 2011.

A previously unknown armed group calling itself the "Syrian Revolutionaries -- Aleppo Province" announced Thursday that it is holding the dozen or so pilgrims who went missing in Syria on May 22.

"The kidnapped Lebanese are being looked after by us and are in good health," the group said in a statement received by Qatar-based satellite news channel Al-Jazeera.

"Negotiations for their release are possible as soon as (Hezbollah leader Hassan) Nasrallah apologises."

Nasrallah had said last week "if this kidnapping is aimed at putting pressure on our political position, it's a waste of time."

On Friday he added, in an address to the kidnappers, "if you have a problem with me, there are many ways to solve it... through war, peace, it is as you wish."

 

Tunisia votes for president in first free and multi-candidate election

After failure of boycott, Bahrain Shiite opposition resorts to accusations

Iran hardliners resist possible nuclear deal in rare protest

Iraq death sentence to ex- PM threatens to damage ties with powerful tribe

Islamic finance doubles in size with demand forecast soaring to new heights

Biden wraps up Turkey visit without breakthrough on Syria

Sudan launches investigation into claims of 'mass rape' in Darfur village

Assad urges ‘real pressure’ on backers of 'terror'

Israel eyes powers to revoke rights of Arab residents

Hope for change and stability as Tunisia prepares to elect new president

Saudi detainee sent home as US speeds up Guantanamo repatriations

Economy and security top agenda of Sisi’s first European tour

Benghazi attack report clears Obama administration of serious charges

Voters bet on stability in crucial Bahrain elections

Hurdles remain high as Iran and world powers press on for nuclear pact

Shebab ‘revenge’ attack leaves 28 innocents dead in Kenya

Strains between Washington and Ankara despite declared agreement

Paypal teams up AttijariWafa bank with to boost Morocco exports

UN begins sending winter aid to Iraq

Turkey launches all-out war against bonzai drug

Turkey to build bridge across Dardanelles to ease traffic

IS launch major attack on Ramadi

Biden: You cannot think free where you cannot challenge orthodoxy

Does Abbas have enough political influence to stop violence in Jerusalem?

Turkey offers military assistance to Iraq

Bomb hits police post near Helwan University in Egypt

UN demands staff member release in South Sudan

Tunisia goes for democracy to counter schemes of Ennahda and Marzouki

US envoy: IS ‘impaled itself’ on Kobane

Iran sees ‘no more room’ for talks on design of Arak reactor

Morocco King and Biden discuss ‘compelling alternative’ to dissuade potential jihadists

In response to Amnesty report: UAE remains committed to protection of human rights

World blacklists Ansar al-Sharia group in Libya

Dempsey places heavy responsibility on Iraq fractured army

Ladies first at Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Barbarism of suicide bombers rocks Arbil in fresh bloody attack

Egypt gives its blessing to Qatar return to Arab fold

France identifies second citizen in IS execution video

Israel returns to policy of punitive house demolitions

France reveals worrying numbers: More than 1000 jihadist nationals in Syria

Without Khamenei support, Rouhani risks much in Iran nuclear gamble

Saudi King urges Egypt to support Qatar return to Arab fold

Turkey may go ahead with redevelopment of Gezi Park

Suicide bomber blows up car in Iraqi Kurdish capital

Iraq government transfers $500 million to Kurdish region