Lebanon enters a kidnapping frenzy
A Lebanese family has kidnapped a number of foreign nationals in an attempt to retrieve a relative held in Syria. The developments in Lebanon are leading headlines in Arab news Thursday. “A battle of hostages is waged by ‘the military wing’ of a Lebanese family,” reads the headline of Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat. The daily reports that the Shiite Miqdad family, residing in southern Beirut, has kidnapped 30 Syrian nationals and a Turk in an attempt to trade them for their family member, Hassan Miqdad, who was captured by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) Tuesday and has confessed to being a Hezbollah sniper sent to Syria with 1,500 other operatives to fight alongside Assad’s forces.
“The Lebanese state has lost control yesterday of the situation in Lebanon,” reads the opening sentence of the article.
“Lebanon enters a spiral of anarchy and chaos: Masked, armed men and the kidnapping of Syrians and a Turk,” reads the headline of London-based daily Al-Hayat, which deals extensively with Lebanese issues.
The article, which features a photo of masked men wearing military vests and holding AK-47s, states that “Lebanon has sunk yesterday into a situation of security, media and political anarchy as a result of the reactions to the kidnapping of Hassan Salim Miqdad in Damascus.
Meanwhile, the Syrian army bombarded the town of Azaz, near Aleppo, reportedly killing 4 Shiite Lebanese hostages kidnapped previously by the FSA and seriously injuring 7 others. The attack on Aazaz further inflamed emotions in Lebanon, particularly among the Shiite community.
“A Syrian family kidnaps Syrians, a Turk and a Saudi in Lebanon” reads the headline of London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, featuring a photo of a Syrian man clearing the debris of a bombarded home near Aleppo to rescue the people trapped underneath.
“Assad dead is better than Assad wounded,” reads the title of an op-ed by A-Sharq Al-Awsat columnist Abdul Rahman Rashed. Rashed writes that Western apprehension of toppling Assad for fear of what will come next is “a silly excuse,” since there are “technical and practical solutions” to ensure that the rebels receive superior weapons with minor risks of those weapons falling into the hand of Islamist extremists. (...)