Press TV — May 30, 2013
Eleven Shia pilgrims were abducted by the militants in Azaz town in the Syrian province of Aleppo in May 2012.
Two of the abductees, who were later freed, recognized the militant that had been involved in their abduction after photos of McCain posing with the abductor were released.
According to the two released captives, Anwar Ibrahim and Hussein Ali Omar, and the family members of the other nine abductees – who remain in the custody of the militants – McCain was photographed standing next to one of the kidnappers, namely Mohammad Nour.
In the photographs released by McCain’s office, Nour is seen holding a camera and wearing a blue shirt.
Following the identification of the kidnapper, McCain’s office claimed that the US senator had been unaware of the identity of the individual he was meeting with.
According to McCain’s spokesman Brian Rogers, the American politician had entered Syria through Turkey in order to visit the top commander of the foreign-backed militants, Brigadier General Salim Idris.
Speaking to Press TV, Dr. Mohammad Marandi, a professor of American Studies at the University of Tehran, pointed out, “One must be too naive to believe that McCain was unaware of the identities of the people he was due to meet.”
The political analyst stressed that the claim by McCain’s spokesman is completely unbelievable as the American senator, who has been openly supporting the militants and the Takfiri groups operating in Syria, must have normally ascertained the identities of every single individual he was planning to meet with.
McCain has never minced his words in calling for US support for the terrorists and the Takfiri militants – who accuse most Islamic sects of being infidels – in Syria.
On May 25, the US senator said that Washington would “take [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s air power out” if the upcoming Geneva conference on Syria failed.
The Syria crisis began in mid-March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence. Several international human rights organizations have charged the foreign-sponsored militants of war crimes.