Leaders of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) have announced in a statement that they captured 13 suspected members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia around the Syrian city of Homs, and threatened to launch full scale attacks against the Lebanese capital city of Beirut if Hezbollah doesn’t withdraw entirely from the region.
“We pledge to take the battle in Syria to the heart of the Beirut southern suburbs ( Dhahiya) if Hezbollah does not stop supporting the killer-Syrian regime,” Free Syrian Army spokesman Fahd al-Masri told media outlets Tuesday.
The FSA statement said that Hezbollah is “deeply involved” in the ongoing civil war, and suggested that it was up to the field commanders whether to keep the captives or just execute them.
It is the second time this month that Hezbollah has come up in ongoing fighting, after the FSA reported that it killed a Hezbollah commander, Ali Hussein Nassif, in a bombing attack in Homs.
Hezbollah MP Kamel Rifai denied the FSA allegations of involvement in the civil war, saying that Hezbollah’s charter forbids them from participating in battles with anybody except for Israel, whose invasion of southern Lebanon was the impetus for their founding.
Hezbollah dragging Lebanon into Syrian conflict
The Future Movement bloc which is headed by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri called on security and judicial authorities to look into the death of Hezbollah fighters in Syria.
A statement issued by the bloc accused Hezbollah of dragging the Lebanese and Syrian people into a conflict with dangerous consequences by siding with the Assad regime.
“A quick investigation is required, especially since Hezbollah is a key partner in the current government which claims to adopt a dissociation policy vis-à-vis the Syrian crisis,” the statement said.
The Future Movement bloc added that Hezbollah had also agreed to comply with the “Baabda Declaration,” which stipulates keeping Lebanon away from the conflict in Syria.
“The bloc also strongly condemns threats by some members of the Syrian opposition to target Lebanese areas in the southern suburbs of Beirut,” the statement added, referring to the Syrian rebels’ threats.
The Future bloc said the death of three Hezbollah members in last week’s arms cache explosion in Nabi Sheet is an “unfortunate incident,” calling on the group to hand over all its arms depots to the Lebanese Army to avoid similar incidents that “put the lives, security and stability of Lebanese citizens at risk.”
Anti war/ DS