(CNN) -- Syrian rebels said they will start executing a group ofabout 48 Shiite pilgrims from Iran if Tehran and Damascus do not comply withtheir demands, according to a video posted on YouTube this week.
|Syrian rebels take position with an anti-aircraft heavy |
machine gun in the northern city of Aleppo on Wednesday,
The pilgrims were abducted in August.
In the video, a rebel officer -- dressed in camouflage and standing in front of what appeared to be a group of hostages -- addressed the Iranian and Syrian governments.
The officer said his group had tried to negotiate with Syrian authorities for the hostages' release in exchange for that of rebels held in regime prisons, but those efforts failed "because of the reluctance of both the Iranian and Syrian regimes."
Therefore, he continued, "Unless they start releasing our people from their prisons and cease the shelling of the innocent civilians in our cities and the ongoing random slaughter, within 48 hours, starting from the moment this statement is read, we inform you that for every martyr who gets killed by the Syrian regime, we will kill one of the Iranian hostages."