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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 08/06/2012
IRAN - SYRIA
Iran calls on Turkey and Qatar to help release 48 pilgrims captured by Syrian rebels
For Tehran, the group of 48 are pilgrims, and include women and children. For rebels, they are revolutionary guards sent by Iran on a reconnaissance mission. A rebel-made video shows only men. The incident could increase tensions between Sunnis and Shias. Syria's prime minister flees to Jordan.

Damascus (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Iran has asked Turkey and Qatar for help in the release of 48 Iranians captured by rebels in Syria. Iran claims they are pilgrims; the rebels say they are revolutionary guards.

Reports about the incident were broadcast on Iranian TV, which said that a bus with Shia pilgrims was a stopped a few kilometres from their destination, the Shia shrine of Sayyida Zeinab. For Syrian rebels, the bus was carrying revolutionary guards on a reconnaissance mission in Damascus.

Rebels (pictured) posted a video on line, accusing Tehran of supporting Bashar al-Assad's regime. However, Colonel Malik al Kurdi, a deputy commander of the Free Syrian Army, said the group taking responsibility for the kidnapping acted on its own.

The Iranian Embassy in Damascus said that the group of pilgrims was travelling on its own in a private tour, and that it included women and children. Yesterday's videos showed only men and Iranian documents.

The incident could further poison Sunni-Shia relations, and widen the gulf between pro- and anti-Assad countries.

Iran has accused Turkey and Qatar of supporting the Free Syrian Army and the anti-Assad opposition in order to bring about his downfall.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Qatari counterpart Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani agreed to seek the Iranians' release, Iran's IRNA news agency said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, as Syrian forces mass 20,000 troops for the final assault against Aleppo's rebel strongholds, there have been reports that Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab and his family have fled to Jordan. Syrian television announced his resignation.

Hijab, a top Baa'th party official and a Sunni, was appointed by Assad on 23 June. He said he joined the opposition because of the regime's crimes and "genocide" against its own people.

 


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See also
08/18/2009 IRAN
Iran's new head of the judiciary says he will prosecute those who torture prisoners
05/19/2010 IRAN – CHINA – RUSSIA
Beijing and Moscow back Washington over new sanctions against Iran, green wave sceptical
02/14/2007 IRAN
18 killed as bomb hits Pasdaran bus
11/05/2010 IRAN
Iranian schools to encourage "culture of martyrdom"
02/15/2007 IRAN
After anti-Pasdaran attack Iran fears insurgencies among its minorities

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

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