Rome (AsiaNews /
Agencies) - "I was trying to tell the story of the Syrian revolution , but
it may be that this revolution has betrayed me . It is no longer the secular
revolution of Aleppo, has become something else". These
are the words of Domenico Quirico , special war correspondent for the Italian
newspaper la Stampa, who was kidnapped on April 9 on the Syrian front , on his
arrival at Ciampino airport after five months in captivity . "I
felt like I were on Mars - he said - I was not treated well ." The
government gave news of his release while the journalist was already on board a
plane to Italy . Along
with Quorico Belgian professor Pier Piccinin was also released.
Quirico , had entered Syria from the border with Lebanon to follow the revolt against Assad. According to a first reconstruction of Giampiero Massolo , director of DIS , the journalist was originally abducted by rebel jihadists. After months of silence, they delivered him into the hands of a group of criminals, who set up contact with the Italian authorities to start negotiations for his release.
For over a year kidnappings are being used as a weapon used by Islamic extremists and criminals to terrorize the population and to obtain money or concessions. Last June Msgr. Zenari , apostolic nuncio in Damascus, denounced the increase in kidnappings to AsiaNews : " Kidnappings are a silent plague that have been affecting hundreds of families for months. Syrians are terrified by these criminal acts that have multiple authors and purposes: from kidnaps for extortion carried out by gangs without loyalties on either side, to those with ethnic religious or political motivations. "
In recent months, several religious figures have been abducted and are still in the hands of the kidnappers : Msgr . Gregory Yohanna Ibrahim , Syrian Orthodox bishop, Msgr . Boulos al- Yazigi , Greek - Orthodox bishop, both kidnapped near the border with Turkey on April 22 , Fr . Michel Kayyal ( Armenian Catholic ) and Fr. Maher Mahfouz ( Greek - orthodox) , kidnapped in February, Fr . Paolo Dall'Oglio , an Italian Jesuit , who disappeared last July 30.