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Syrian Civil War Brings Lebanon into the Fight with Kidnappings and Counter-kidnappings
The Syrian civil war, which is broken down mainly on sectarian lines of Shiites who support President Bashar Assad’s regime and Sunnis who don’t, has inspired the Sunni insurgents to attempt a different tactic in their opposition: they have began kidnapping supporters of Assad’s regime from neighboring countries. For instance, Hassane Salim al-Mikdad was been kidnapped from on the grounds that he was a member of Lebanon’s militant Shiite group Hezbollah, which is pro-Assad.
A video was released of a bruised Abu Ali al-Mikdad confessing to being a member of Hezbollah, claiming also that he was sent to Syria to fight for Assad.
Hezbollah has denied this, as well as the Meqdad clan, his family, a powerful Shiite tribe in Eastern Lebanon. The Meqdad clan identify the man, their relative, as a Lebanese banker with no vested interests in the fight, saying he had been in Syria for over a year; and so in retaliation to him being kidnapped they have kidnapped more than 20 Syrians in Lebanon who are believed to be Sunni’s fighting for the rebel Free Syria Army (FSA).
“The family’s military wing kidnapped several Syrians. We are not afraid of anyone,” said Maher “Abu Ali” Meqdad.
In this way, Syria’s civil war is affecting Lebanon in much the way Lebanon’s 15-year civil war involved Syria.
Syrians have used the kidnapping tactic to capture 11 Lebanese Shiites in May, and to capture 48 Iranians earlier this month.