Nasrallah to Deliver Televised Speech on IS and Arsal Captives

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Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is scheduled to make a TV appearance on Tuesday to reiterate his rejection of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State, and any swap between Lebanese soldiers taken captive by jihadists and Roumieh prison Islamists, local dailies said.

Al-Akhbar newspaper said that Nasrallah, who will appear on Hizbullah’s al-Manar TV on Tuesday night, is expected to criticize the U.S.-Arab alliance against the IS.

Washington and five Arab countries launched airstrikes on IS targets in Syria late Monday, expanding a military campaign into a country whose three-year civil war has given the brutal militant group a safe haven.

Hizbullah claims that the coalition wants to take advantage of the fight against terrorism to achieve other objectives in the region.

Nasrallah is also expected to reject outright the release of Islamist inmates from Roumieh in return for Lebanese soldiers and policemen taken captive by jihadists last month.

The troops and members of the Internal Security Forces were kidnapped when the IS and al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front overran the northeastern border town of Arsal.

They later executed three of them and threatened to kill more if the Lebanese authorities failed to meet their demands.

There have been different reports on the demands made by the jihadists.

The Lebanese government has so far not revealed any detail about the issue. But the release of the Islamists held in Roumieh is one of the demands.

Al-Akhbar expected Nasrallah to warn that setting them free would have severe repercussions on the security situation in Lebanon.

The majority of the Islamists were held during and after gunbattles between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam terrorist group at the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in 2007.

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