Eleven Abducted Lebanese Citizens Released
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said eleven Lebanese citizens who had been kidnapped in Syria were handed over to Turkish authorities and would soon return to Beirut. The victims, all of whom are Shi’ite, were returning to Lebanon from a religious pilgrimage in Iran and they were reportedly abducted in Aleppo by Syrian rebels who were hoping to swap them for Syrians imprisoned in Lebanon. The Free Syria Army denied being behind the abduction and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah thanked officials, including Future Movment leader Saad Hariri for assisting in the release of the detainees.
Michael Young comments on the perilous street politics of Lebanon, and how events such as the killing of Sheikh Abdel-Waheb, shows the urgency of a national dialogue between political leaders. Erika Soloman and Laila Bassam write about the thousands of Syrians who have crossed over to Lebanon in hopes of finding work as the economic crisis in Syria worsens. They note that although Syrian laborers have always been drawn to Lebanon, one human rights official puts the figure of 20,000 Syrians in the capital.