Lebanese president accuses Syria of territory violations


Lebanese President Michel Suleiman on Monday accused Syria of violating Lebanese territory after a house in the east of the country was hit by a blast and shells fell on the northern border.

In a rare protest against Syria, the Lebanese president “has asked Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour to send a letter to Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon, addressing the Syrian authorities, to protest this issue,” a statement said.

Suleiman “expressed his displeasure” after a house in the eastern Qaa region was hit by a blast and shells fired from Syria slammed into several villages along the northern border.

A security official told AFP that “unknown people from the Syrian side infiltrated into Lebanon on Sunday in the region (of Qaa) and blew up the house of Jamal Ghadada, on the Syrian-Lebanese border, after mining it.”

Suleiman “also asked the army command and the relevant authorities to coordinate… in order to avoid a repetition of these violations once and for all,” according to the statement.

The protest was the first of its kind by a Lebanese president since Syrian troops withdrew from Lebanon in 2005 after nearly three decades of political and military hegemony over its smaller neighbour.

There has been an increase of cross-border clashes, some of them deadly, and shelling from Syria into Lebanon in recent weeks, particulary in the north and the east border areas.