Two priests who have been kidnapped by militants in Syria are alive and held captive in Turkey, a source close said.

An source in Aleppo, citing information from a British diplomat, told al - Alam on Sunday that two bishops abducted near Aleppo around four months ago are still alive and kept in Turkish soil.

The British diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, received the information from US Representative for Pennsylvania ' s 15th congressional district Charlie Dent.

Armed groups affiliated to Istanbul Council and Muslim Brotherhood are holding both bishops in Turkey, the diplomat said, adding they hatched the plot to appoint Yusuf Çetin, Istanbul Bishop, as a successor to Zakka Iwas, 122nd reigning Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and, as such, Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church.

Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Archbishops of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, were seized by a terrorist group in the village of Kfar Dael as they were carrying out humanitarian work.

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