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."

 

Assad, Russia press intense Aleppo assault

Saudi king unveils austerity drive

Clinton, Trump clash in fiery first presidential debate

Morocco finally adopts Amazigh as official language

Saudi petition seeks 'full' rights for women

Russia tries to strongarm US with Aleppo assault

Jordan vows crackdown on online incitement

Iran's Ahmadinejad says will not run for president

Boris Johnson dismisses Erdogan goat poem as 'trivia'

Turkey dismisses 87 spy agency staff over failed coup

Egypt recovers sunken boat, more bodies

Israel's Peres 'fighting for his life'

Bombings kill at least seventeen in Baghdad

Netanyahu chooses diplomacy in US election

Iran sets conditions for joining terror finance taskforce

Who is the destroyer of Timbuktu shrines?

Assad, Russia opt for 'total war' in Syria

Israel to charge Lieberman party officials in graft probe

Egypt detains owner of capsized migrant vessel

Countless bombings in Baghdad’s Karrada since 2003 US-led invasion

Moroccan gets death threat messages over cartoon posted by killed Jordanian

Israel prosecutor general denies going easy on PM

Iran frees Iranian-Canadian academic

Supplies dwindle, strikes intensify in Syria's Aleppo

Rebels, civilians quit Homs under deal with regime

Oman court closes national newspaper, jails three journalists

Israel-US consortium signs $10 billion gas deal with Jordan

Closure of Palestinian pages sparks Facebook censorship fears

Morocco’s main secular party takes on ruling Islamists

British FM on key visit to Turkey

Ten Turkish soldiers killed in PKK attacks

Jordanians protest over writer's murder

Moniz says Washington has met its side of Iran nuclear deal

Coalition prefers final Yemen settlement to 'short' truce

Deutsche Welle sues Turkey over confiscated interview

Palestinians condemn Trump vow on Jerusalem

Iran conservatives advise Ahmadinejad to stay out of election

Moscow slams 'unacceptable' UN statements on Syria

Yemeni forces kill suspected Qaeda chief

Bulgaria court error delays trial over Hezbollah bombing

Oil prices rise modestly ahead of OPEC meeting

Qatari official banned from AFC vote

Trump says he'll recognize Jerusalem as Israel's 'undivided' capital

US, Russia split on Syria’s Aleppo carnage

Death toll from Egypt migrant shipwreck jumps to 168