TEHRAN – An informed official at the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday dismissed claims that the Iranian nationals recently abducted in Syria are military forces.
Abusing the issue of the abduction of Iranians illustrates the irresponsibility of media outlets, the unidentified official stated.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has confirmed reports that 47 Iranian pilgrims had been abducted in Damascus on Saturday, while some media outlets have put the number at 48.
The Saudi-owned Al Arabiya on Sunday aired a video purportedly showing Syrian rebels with a group of Iranians abducted a day earlier just outside Damascus, according to AP.
The footage shows men identified as the Iranians sitting on the ground surrounded by fighters who said they were from the “Baraa Brigades”.
The rebels “captured 48 of the Shabiha (militiamen) of Iran who were on a reconnaissance mission in Damascus,” a man dressed as an officer of the Free Syrian Army said in the video, RIA Novosti reported.
“During the investigation, we found that some of them were officers of the Revolutionary Guards,” he said, showing ID documents taken from one of the men.
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