US: Syria must be held accountable’ for destabilizing Lebanon


The U.S. Embassy in Beirut expressed concern over the continuing violence in Tripoli and said in remarks posted on Twitter on Friday that the “Assad regime officials should be held accountable for involvement in alleged attempts to destabilize Lebanon.”

The embassy called on all parties to “exercise restraint and respect for Lebanese security and stability ” and expressed its “sincere condolences for the loss of life,”

The embassy also called on the Assad regime to “respect the sovereignty, independence, and stability of Lebanon,” condemning “the regime’s continued shelling of Lebanese territory.”

“As the crisis in Syria continues to deteriorate, the situation in Lebanon has become more precarious and the need for continued international support to the government and the Lebanese Armed Forces increasingly important,” said former US ambassador to Lebanon and current U.S.under secretary Jeffrey Feltman.

“Tensions over domestic and security concerns remain high throughout the country and are easily exacerbated by developments in Syria,” Feltman told a council meeting on the Middle East.

Feltman said the arrest of former minister Michel Samaha for involvement in smuggling explosives from Syria had also “deepened concerns about attempts to draw Lebanon into regional concerns.”

Tripoli’s clashes, the kidnappings of Syrians in Lebanon, and shelling across the border have all heightened concern about Lebanon’s stability.

14 people were killed in fighting between the rival neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbaneh over the past five days.

Another 110 people have been wounded, most of them shot by snipers.