Finally, Iran felt the heat of uprising in Syria as 48 pilgrims of the country were abducted by armed groups in Damascus. The pilgrims were abducted while they were returning from a shrine in the vicinity of the federal capital. No group has so far accepted responsibility of the crime nor have any demands from the rebels surfaced so far. However, Iranian embassy in Syria claimed in a statement that they knew whereabouts of the kidnappers and the process was underway to get the captives released from them.
Quoting an unnamed official, Iranian official news agency IRNA said that the pilgrims were abducted in the suburbs of Damascus while they were on their way back from a religious shrine. Syria's state television channel also confirmed the incident and reported that the pilgrims were kidnapped by armed groups and the relevant authorities were looking into the matter. However, no official statement from Syria has yet been issued on the incident. Syria is infested with insurgency, as pro-democracy people have been struggling against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad for the last 17 months.
Iran has been one of the main supporters of Assad's regime in the violence-wracked Syria. On a number of occasions, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad has expressed his full support to President Assad, completely condoning deaths of thousands of civilians and gross human rights violations. According to the United Nations, security forces loyal to the regime have so far killed more than 15,000 innocent civilians. The civilians are being killed and tortured for raising voice against the regime. People are being penalized for raising voice for democracy and rule of law in the country.
Besides Iran, Russia and China are also supporters of Assad's regime. These countries are actually protecting their vested interests in the region. China and Russia have also vetoed two resolutions moved against Assad's regime in the United Nations Security Council.
The United States and other European countries believe that Russia, China and Iran have also been providing the regime with arms and ammunitions, besides financial and moral support.
Following kidnapping of the 48 pilgrims Iran should realize that the deteriorating law and order situation in its neighboring countries will not help Iran as well. Iranian leadership should play a positive role in pushing Assad's regime to end violence against innocent civilians. Russia and China should also understand that if they continue supporting the brutal regime in Syria, one day they may also feel the heat of the anarchy prevalent in the volatile country. The international community should also not sit back and come up with some viable ways to resolve the conundrum.