Lebanese pilgrims ask help from Turkish gov’t
Deniz Bayramoğlu Northern Syria / CNNTürk
Some of the families of 11 Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria block the highway leading to Beirut airport to protest the government in this June photo. AP photoA group of Lebanese pilgrims who were abducted by Syrian rebels in May are seeking help from the Turkish government.
The captives, who appeared to be in good health, said they are being treated well by the rebels.
“While were returning from pilgrimage to Iran via Turkey, members of the Free Syrian Army stopped our bus as we crossed into Syrian territory. They thought we were Iranian Revolutionary Guards or Lebanese Hezbollah, but then realized that we were ‘normal’ Lebanese,” the leader of the group, Hasan Erzuni Ebu Ali, said. The group is seeking help from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and criticizes the Lebanese government for failing to make a great enough effort on their behalf. “The Lebanese government does not care and has done nothing for us; they have not even contacted us,” Ebu Ali said.
“We admire Tayyip Erdoğan because he sent an aid ship to Gaza. We seek Erdoğan’s help and would like to reunite with our families,” another member of the group, Abbas Hasan Sheayim, said. “We want the Lebanese people to protest the Lebanese government for their lack of effort,” another pilgrim, Ali Ihsan Abbas, said. Some members of the pilgrims’ families have had the chance to meet with them who were kidnapped in Aleppo.