Hariri: Hezbollah and Syrian regime decided on bussing the IS militants to eastern Syria

 FPM founder Michel Aoun (L) sits next to Lebanon's former prime minister Saad al-Hariri after he said he will back Aoun to become president in Beirut, Lebanon October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri  revealed that he and President Michel Aoun decided to  allow the Islamic State jihadists to “cross the border” into Syria as part of a ceasefire agreement, but stressed hat “their transfer in air conditioned buses to eastern Syria was decided  by  Hezbollah and the Syrian regime .”

“Our main priority  was the safety of our troops,” Hariri told France’s Le Monde daily when asked how “300 IS militants  managed to leave the Qalamun region safely.”

“A major anti-IS battle occurred in 2014 and a number of soldiers were abducted and killed by IS. We didn’t know where they were buried and we did not want anyone else to get killed, that’s why we tightened our siege and they (IS militants) suggested negotiations,” Hariri explained.

“They gave us information about the location of the soldiers’ bodies and, in return, these fighters were allowed to leave the Lebanese territory  , along with their families  and without fighting,” he added.

“What’s important to us is that IS has no presence in Lebanon anymore,” the PM  added.

The controversial deal that was negotiated between IS and Hezbollah has been criticized inside Lebanon, as well by the U.S.-led coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq and especially by Baghdad, which protested that the  IS terrorists  were being brought to its doorstep. Hezbollah chief  Hassan Nasrallah has argued that the deal was necessary to acquire information about the fate of Lebanese soldiers taken hostage by IS three years ago.

No missile factories in Lebanon

Hariri was also asked about Israel’s allegations that Iran has built secret Hezbollah-run missile factories in Lebanon.

“The Israelis know very well that there are no missile factories in Lebanon. They are used to launching these disinformation campaigns. They claim that Hezbollah  is in control of Lebanon and this is not true. Hezbollah has a presence — it is present in the government and it enjoys support in the country — but this does not mean thatHezbollah  is in control of entire Lebanon,” Hariri emphasized.

“Our problem with Israel is that its leaders always talk about war and security but never about peace,” Hariri added.

Syrian refugees

Asked whether Syrian refugees in Lebanon should “return to their country,” the prime minister said: “In Lebanon, some are saying that we should restore ties with Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Look at Iraq, Jordan and Egypt. These countries have ties with the Syria regime but despite that, refugees there have not returned to Syria.”

“They will not return home as long as the current regime is present there. As long as I’m not given a green light from the U.N. for a safe return by the refugees, I will not do anything,” Hariri added.

According to analysts Hariri is  trying cover up for the failure of the government in allowing  Hezbollah to negotiate a deal that allowed the IS terrorists to return the bodies of the Lebanese soldiers in coffins while the terrorists were allowed to return to Syria in air conditioned buses .

The analysts also disagreed with Hariri over Hezbollah’s role  and claim that   Hezbollah is  in control of Lebanon.

Ever since the 2006 war with Israel the Iranian backed militant group has been trying to control the war and peace decisions in Lebanon.

Five Hezbollah operatives are being tried by the UN backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon for killing  Saad Hariri’s father former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005  . In May 2008 Hezbollah  occupied the western part of Beirut and tried but failed to occupy Mount Lebanon   . Hezbollah also  held the country hostage  for 30 months over the election of a president .

Hezbollah also is fighting in Syria alongside the forces loyal the Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad despite the Baabda agreement which called for distancing Lebanon from regional conflicts, the analysts concluded

Note to Ya Libnan  readers 

Ya Libnan is not responsible for the comments that are posted below. We kindly ask all readers   to keep
 this space  respectful forum for discussion

All comment that are  considered  rude, insulting, a personal attack, abusive, derogatory or defamatory will be deleted 

 Ya Libnan  will also delete  comments  containing hate speech; racist, sexist, homophobic slurs, discriminatory incitement, or advocating  violence, public disorder or criminal behavior profanity , crude language and any words written in any language other than English.

  • Danny Farah

    Then Hariri and his government including Hezbollah failed the Lebanese people. he goes and whine then he comes back and admits his mistake. You are not fit to run the government and shave that damned beard of yours. it’s not fitting you and you need to focus on improving the situations in Lebanon and stop dancing around with no goals other than tic tac around the issues.

  • Jack

    That’s a Soap Opera Lebanese style…….