Sunday, March 9, 2014

Pray that the Nuns of Maaloula will be Released Today!

All over but the shouting.

In the past two hours, there has been a spate of reports in the Syrian Lebanese media that the nuns of the Monastery of Mar Thekla in Maaloula will be released today, possibly during a cease-fire in Yabroud set to begin at sundown. Pray that this will happen!!!

Media summary (I'll continue to update this as best I can):

As-Safir,Al-Mayadeen: : The nuns have been released and are in the care of Lebanese security forces.

Murr TV:  The nuns have been handed over to Lebanese security forces.

 As-Safir : Abbas Ibrahim-- No reason for worry or pessimism. Talks to release the nuns are ongoing and have not gone backward.

 Al-Mayadeen: After leaving their positions, the convoy ready to receive the nuns is back in the agreed-upon location. An-Nahar: The process is back on.

Reports are all over the place. Some reports are saying that the process of releasing the nuns has failed. Some reports are saying that Abbas Ibrahim says that they have not. Al-Jadeed is saying that negotiations faltered but have now resumed.

An-Nahar: The talks  to arrange the nuns' release is faltering. Soldiers claim to have seen the nuns at the Arsal checkpoint before this happened.

 An-Nahar: Abbas Ibrahim: The nuns will be released tonight. The reasons for the delay are logistical.

 Al-Mayadeen: A high-ranking Qatari official has arrived in Arsal to oversee things. The location of the hand-off will not be announced until it happens because circumstances are constantly changing.

An-Nahar : Heavy rains and dirt roads in the outskirts of Arsal may make the logistics of transporting the nuns difficult.

  Al-Mayadeen: The nuns will be handed over in Chtaura (there's been a lot of discussion about security issues around Arsal, which harbors large numbers of jihadis). They will then have the choice of heading to Beirut or Damascus.

Radio Voice of Lebanon: The nuns will not be released until 7PM Beirut time.

As-Safir: Lebanese security will accompany the nuns into Syrian territory, transported by bus.

Al-Akhbariyya: Syrian news report on Youtube from the crowd at the border awaiting the nuns, here.

An-Nahar-- The nuns have been handed over the the Qataris, who will take them to Arsal.

 Al-Mayadeen: Abbas Ibrahim is now in Masnaa awaiting the nuns.

LBC: Abbas Ibrahim- The nuns will be handed over in Arsal to a Lebanese and a Qatari security officer, and from there they will be taken to Masnaa.

  Al-Mayadeen : Jabhat al-Nusra demanded a sum of money for the nuns' release. Preparations are being made to transport them, in the company of Lebanese security personnel, from Lebanon to Jdeidet Yabus (the Syrian side of the Masnaa border crossing).

 Al-Mayadeen: Any moment now.

Al-Manar: The nuns will be released through the Lebanese border-town of Arsal, where the chief of Qatari intelligence arrived earlier today.

An-Nahar: The nuns'  release is very close. Work is being done to fulfill the kidnappers' demands, including safe passage of their convoy and a cease-fire in the area where the nuns are being held.

Al-Jazeera TV has confirmed that the process of releasing the nuns has begun.

Radio Voice of Lebanon: Extensive security convoys in the Bekaa, preparing for the nuns' release.

Al-Manar: Abbas Ibrahim-- The decision to release the nuns has been made. We're working out logistical difficulties now.

Al-Nashra: Abbas Ibrahim-- We're working to overcome some last-minute complications for the nuns' release.

RT Arabic: The process of releasing the nuns has begun.

Lebanese state press release: The President of Lebanon, Gen. Michel Sleiman and the Director of General Security, Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, are following the situation regarding the nuns' release.

Radio Voice of Lebanon: The Syrian Ministry of Information has asked journalists to come to the Syrian-Lebanese border (presumably the Masnaa crossing).

Al-Nashra: A delegation of Orthodox clergymen have arrived at the Judaydat Yabus-Masnaa crossing to wait for the nuns, who will be brought to Lebanon.

Al-Akhbar EnglishMaaloula nuns to be freed, Greek Orthodox Council says

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