Syria's Nusra Front says it has captured Hezbollah fighters near Aleppo

November 14, 2015 17:42
1 minute read.


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BEIRUT - Syria's al Qaeda offshoot, the Nusra Front, said on Saturday it had captured three Lebanese Hezbollah fighters in northern Syria.

Scores of Hezbollah fighters have been killed battling rebels on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, but relatively few have been taken captive.

A video released by the hardline Islamist group showed three men purported to be wounded fighters, and said they had been involved in a major campaign in the countryside south of Aleppo, fighting alongside Iranian troops and the Syrian army.

The area is one where the Syrian army has been making a major push, with Russian air support and Iranian military aid.

The Nusra Front has been trying to exchange at least 16 Lebanese soldiers it captured during skirmishes in the border town of Arsal in August 2014 for hardline Islamists held in Lebanon.

It has killed at least four soldiers since last year to put pressure on Lebanon to accept a swap, but so far without success. Meanwhile, Lebanese security forces have cracked down on Nusra sympathizers and stepped up border controls.

Hezbollah in Lebanon did not immediately comment on the latest incident, but Lebanese security sources said the militiamen had inadvertently found themselves in an area controlled by the Nusra Front, and confirmed they had been captured.

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