Media sources: Iran, Hezbollah likely to nediate freedom of abducted Turkish pilots

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran and the Lebanese resistance group, Hezbollah, will likely play a mediating role to help release the two Turkish pilots recently abducted in Beirut, the Lebanese media said on Wednesday.

The Lebanese al-Nahar daily quoted informed sources as saying that Hezbollah Secretary-General Seyed Hassan Nasrallah is thought to be taking personal measures to release the two Turk pilots.

The newspaper added that Iran will also play a mediating role in securing the freedom of the Turkish pilots in the next few days.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davudoglu, in a phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi on Tuesday, voiced concern over the fate of the two Turkish pilots abducted in the Lebanese capital by unidentified gunmen, and called on Tehran to help the Turkish and Lebanese officials to secure the release of the two Turkish nationals.

Salehi, voicing deep sorrow over the event, hoped they would be released soon.

Turkish Airlines pilot Murat Akpinar and his co-pilot Murat Agca were forced out of a shuttle bus at gunpoint at the Cocodi Bridge, less than a kilometer from Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport on Friday morning.

Senior Turkish officials have contacted their Iranian counterparts asking them to mediate and help release Akpinar and Agca through diplomatic channels, the Beirut-based Arabic-language Al Joumhouria newspaper reported this weekend.

Thus far, a not much known group has claimed responsibility for the abduction, demanding the release of nine pilgrims who have been held by Syrian militant groups since 2012.

Families of the Lebanese have denied involvement in the abduction of the Turks, but voiced support for any action that might bring their case to a close.

By Fars News Agency


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