Syrian opposition forces say three of their Iranian hostages have been killed during air strikes against Damascus.
Reuters reported on Monday August 6 that Syrian rebels are threatening to kill the remaining 45 hostages if the government does not cease its air strikes.
A Syrian rebel spokesman alleged that a house where the Iranian hostages were being kept was hit by one of the air strikes, killing three of them.
The spokesman said the army had one hour to end its attacks or else the rest of the hostages would be killed.
Iranian authorities claim the 48 Iranian hostages kidnapped on Saturday were pilgrims travelling to a Shiite shrine in the suburbs of Damascus.
Rebel forces released a video recording confirming their abduction. They claim the captives are not pilgrims but rather are members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Iran’s Foreign Minister has appealed to the Turkey and Qatar to use their influence with the rebels to secure the release of the kidnapped Iranians.
The Islamic Republic has remained a close ally of the Syrian government, but Turkey and Qatar have aligned themselves with Syria’s opposition forces.