Not only the Lebanese, but all the middle easterners suffer from a very negative western media portrayal, being accused of terrorism and countless other things. Nevertheless, this is about to change all thanks to our Lebanese Security Forces.
Lebanon’s security chief, major Abbas Ibrahim, played a vital role in the negotiations to release two tourists who were detained in Syria: An American citizen who was held hostage for about two months and a Canadian citizen who was held hostage for about ten months.
Canadian citizen Kristian Lee Baxter was detained in Syria while traveling last year. He arrived in the country on the 26th of November 2018 and was arrested a week later under the accusation of a major violation of local laws.
Despite that the Canadian authorities tried to negotiate the release of their citizens, they told his mother that they would not be able to help him since Canada closed its embassy in Syria in 2012 due to diplomatic relation problems between both countries.
U.S Citizen Sam Goodwin was touring the world, aiming at visiting all countries within one year. His adventure ended abruptly in Syria where he was arrested and held captive for two full months. The reasons for his captivity remain unknown to the public. He was last seen on a security camera at leaving the Assia hotel in the city of Qamishli.
While all diplomatic attempts and pressures from both countries failed respectively to release their respective citizens, and hope was waning into a thread, Lebanon was at work on both cases, efficiently and discreetly
In fact, Lebanese ISF General Major Abbas Ibrahim achieved what no major country managed to, negotiating sequentially the release of both detainees and bringing them safely to freedom; Sam Goodwin on July 2019, and Kristian Lee Baxter just this week.
The detainees, who have lost hope to ever be released, and their families expressed their deep gratitude to Major Abbas Ibrahim.
In the first case, Goodwin's parents said that they will be forever indebted to General Abbas and to the whole country of Lebanon for taking the issue so seriously and leading the negotiations that ensured the released of their son.
As for Baxter, he said that if it were not for the Canadian embassy and the Lebanese Security Forces, he could have stayed there forever since people didn't even know if he were alive.
News outlets from all around the world have been praising Lebanon for its unique role in freeing the hostages, and the Lebanese ISF and Chief Major General Ibrahim Abbas for the exceptional negotiation skills.
As per the international news, the outstanding success of General Abbas' mediation has raised Lebanon's profile abroad for "fostering a unique role in freeing foreign hostages."
In fact, it brought Lebanon's name in numerous communication channels of the world, including The New York Times, Middle East Eye, The National, CBS News, CTV, Radio Canada, and CNN, all praising Lebanon and attributing the success of the mission to the Lebanese Forces' negotiation skills.
According to Nicolas Chedrawi, the head of a committee of the Lebanese President, what general Ibrahim did is very important to Lebanon and it adds value to the Lebanese image abroad. Lebanon was able to prove that its importance as a country for its positive actions to the world. Despite all the trouble in the past five weeks, the Lebanese ISF succeeded in rising above all expectations, internally and internationally.