Lebanese General Security chief Major General Abbas Ibrahim stressed on Tuesday that if it weren’t for Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, who exerted efforts to facilitate the swap deal, the whole process wouldn’t be solved.
“Sayyed Nasrallah’s communication accelerated and facilitated the release of the liberated servicemen,” he said.
During an exclusive interview with Al-Manar TV, Gen. Ibrahim revealed the behind-the-scenes details of the swap deal, stating that Sayyed Nasrallah tasked someone to communicate with the Qatari Emir to try to solve the soldiers’ file, and one week later, is eminence dispatched a messenger to Ibrahim to tell him that the file will be reopened.
He added that his last meeting with Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah was in the eighth of October, “on the eve of my trip to Kuwait to meet with Prince, and the kidnapped soldiers’ file was among the raised issues.”
“Sayyed Nasrallah expressed concerns and asked to know what are the obstacles hindering the file, especially as he learned that the Al-Nusra Front was demanding Hezbollah withdrawal from some border villages and the return of displaced people to them so that it would release the military personnel. I told him that this is not true and exists only in the media,” Ibrahim said.
During the interview, Ibrahim revealed that he asked for Sayyed Nasrallah’s help in this file, especially that it has been hindered for two or three months, indicating that “after one week of our meeting, Sayyed Nasrallah dispatched to me a messenger to inform me that the file will be reopened.”
“The Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior are well informed about that,” he added.
“Sayyed Nasrallah mediated, expedited and facilitated the process from the Syrian part as well, because there were prisoners in Syria to whom we were in need to complete the whole conditions, in addition to the ceasefire.”
“During the last few days, Sayyed Nasrallah have had a part in every detail of this file, because the crippling conditions required his mediation. He resent new messages to the Qatari Emir to solve the obstacles, and this is what really happened,” he said.
Moreover, Gen. Ibrahim made it clear that liberating the servicemen was done within clear and defined limit, and the Lebanese government didn’t set free any of those who are convicted in shedding the Lebanese blood.
The Lebanese official said that the exchange deal suffered several burdens, and each time a full agreement had been reached, Al-Nusra Front backed it down.
“It tried to foil the latest deal as well,” he told Al-Manar TV reporter.
However, Gen. Ibrahim noted that all those prisoners released from the Lebanese jails have refused to go to the Al-Nusra Front.
Regarding the location of the exchange process, Ibrahim said, “I wanted to survey with my own eyes where the Al-Nusra is stationed, and I identified the exchange spot and I believed it was the fittest one under the Al-Nusra armed deployment.”
As for the rest of the soldiers abducted by the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group, Gen. Ibrahim said that there are some channels in negotiation with ISIL that we must reconsider their seriousness in order to set the soldiers free, expressing beliefs that the two bishops who were kidnapped more than two years ago in are held in north Syria, which is currently a war zone.