|Release of Iranians abducted in Syria likely to be obtained through political channels: general||
TEHRAN – The release of the Iranian nationals who were abducted in Syria in August is likely to be otained through political channels, according to the deputy coordinator of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Brigadier General Jamaloddin Aberoumand made the remarks during a press conference in Tehran on Monday in reply to a question about the 48 retired IRGC members who were abducted by the Syrian rebel al-Baraa Brigade, which is affiliated with the self-proclaimed Free Syrian Army, on August 4 and have been threatened with death.
“Our assumption is that such threats are not credible and that (the issue) will be resolved through diplomatic efforts,” Aberoumand stated.
Members of the al-Baraa Brigade, in a video aired by the Saudi-owned television network Al-Arabiya on Friday, said that they would start killing the abductees unless Syrian President Bashar al-Assad freed Syrian opposition detainees and stopped shelling their positions.
However, a statement on the brigade’s Facebook page on Sunday said that it had extended its deadline by 24 hours at the request of mediators.
On Sunday, Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani urged the Syrian rebels not to kill the abductees after Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi held a telephone conversation with him and asked him to help secure the release of the abducted individuals, Reuters reported.
“As a general policy in the state of Qatar, we don’t accept the killing of prisoners,” the Qatari Prime Minister told Al Jazeera television.
“We also don’t accept further escalation of the situation in Syria. We agree that all parties have their demands, but the basic principle is not to kill prisoners,” he stated.
Salehi also contacted Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday and asked Turkey’s help in this regard.
In addition, a senior Turkish official, who spoke to Today’s Zaman on condition of anonymity on Monday, stated that Turkey would do its utmost to find a solution to the issue.
“Just as in the past, Turkey will approach the issue from a humanitarian perspective and work hard for the resolution of the issue,” the official said.
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