Ibrahim: Lebanese Mediator to Negotiate Release of Servicemen Abducted by IS

General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim reiterated on Saturday that he is determined to find a solution for the file of servicemen abducted by the Islamic State, as he revealed that security forces were able to thwart a suicide bombing plot in Sidon.

“We are determined to end the file of servicemen kidnapped by the IS,” Ibrahim told LBCI TV station in a phone conversation.

“There are serious efforts being exerted through a Lebanese mediator for the release of the servicemen,” he went on to say.

“Efforts will continue till the end to free them.”

Later during the day, President Michel Aoun invited to the Presidential Palace two relatives of the servicemen. He met with brother of captive soldier Ibrahim Mgheit, Nizam, and Hussein Youssef the father of soldier Mohammed Youssef.

The IS group and al-Nusra Front, which re-branded itself as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham in July when it split from the al-Qaida movement, abducted over 30 servicemen in clashes with the Lebanese army in the northeastern border town of Arsal in August 2014.

Sixteen held by the Jabhat Fateh al-Islam were freed in December last year through a Qatari-mediated deal that also included a prisoner swap to release a number of inmates from Lebanese jails.

The two groups had previously executed four of the hostages.

Nine hostages are still being held by the IS and their families do not know much about their fate.

On the other hand, Ibrahim pointed out that coordination between the security forces are ongoing to preserve stability.

He revealed that a suspect was arrested in the southern city of Sidon with plans to carry out a suicide terror attack.