The Syrian regime's Ministry of Religious Endowment issued a statement blaming "this brutal act" on Chechen mercenaries operating under the mantle of Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaeda. The government did not provide evidence to back up the claim.
A spokesman for the Free Syrian Army said the government itself could be behind the kidnappings.
"The timing is very suspicious and we believe the Assad regime is behind the kidnapping," Louay Almokdad told CNN.
Another opposition figure, Rami Abdurrahman of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, elaborated, saying they believe that non-Arab foreign fighters are behind the kidnappings.
"We know that there are foreign fighters who are infiltrated by the regime and the Assad regime is well known for being a ventriloquist of proxy groups that they set up in order to spread chaos, strife and to divide the ranks of the opposition," he said.
Criminal Assad gets all the benefit from this kidnapping; they have major incentive for this kidnapping! Criminal Assad tries to stir a sectarianism by doing this! Not benefit to the FSA revolutionary if they did!