Syrian Al-Qaeda Group Agree To Release 44 Fijian Peacekeepers Into Israel

The 44 Fijian U.N. peacekeepers in Syria captured by Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front are to be released to Israel following successful negotiations.

The good news reported by Al Jazeera today comes after the posting of a video of the captives filmed two days ago. In the video, one of the Fijian soldiers announces their imminent release, and confirms that all of the men are alive and well. Captain Savenaca Rabuka said,

“We are all safe and alive, and we thank Jabhat Al-Nusra for keeping us safe and keeping us alive and I would like to assure you that we have not been harmed in any way.”

The Fijian soldiers were snatched by Syrian rebels late last month during an offensive to seize the Quneitra region bordering Israel from Assad’s forces. The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was deployed to maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria following the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

The Nusra Front had said it would try the Fijian soldiers “under Islamic law” at the same time as issuing a series of demands for their release. These reportedly included the release from prison of several prominent Al Qaeda terrorists.

The Inquisitr reported on September 5, quoting a report in the Independent listing the demands of the group.

The Independent reported on Monday that the militants had issued three demands for the release of the peacekeepers, each of which are as absurd as any demands made by modern-day Islamic terrorists, These are the demands.

  1. The Group is to be taken off the UN terrorist list
  2. Humanitarian aid to be delivered to parts of the Syrian capital Damascus
  3. Compensation for three of its fighters it claims were killed in a shootout with UN officers

It isn’t clear at the moment if those three demands were met by the U.N. during the intense negotiations, but, thankfully, the soldiers are to be released and will be flown back home following their ordeal.