“Nine Lebanese hostages freed after being held by Syrian rebels for more than a year arrived to a tumultuous welcome in Beirut late Saturday, capping a complex deal that also resulted in the release of two Turkish pilots kidnapped in Lebanon and the reported freeing of scores of prisoners from Syrian jails. About an hour after the nine ex-hostages were mobbed by relatives and other well-wishers at a VIP lounge at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport, images on Turkish television showed an aircraft carrying the two Turkish Airlines pilots arriving at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. The Lebanese had been flown from Istanbul to Beirut, while the Turks were whisked off by jet in the opposite direction, from Beirut to Istanbul…………….”
So the Syrian rebel sectarian militias kidnapped a bunch of Lebanese Shi’s pilgrims in Syria, called them Hezbollah fighters, and held them hostage. Some of the Syrian rebels factions have become better at kidnapping than at fighting. So some Lebanese Shi’a clans went straight to the source, they kidnapped a couple of innocent Turkish pilots, on the assumption that Turkey is allied to the Syrian rebels and has leverage over them. This turns out to have been the correct, if cruel and illegal, thing to do to get the desired result. One kidnapping, one crime, does not justify another, but apparently it does in the Eastern Mediterranean.