Hezbollah goes on full alert after 3 members killed


hezbollah parade 9The rebel Free Syrian Army chief of staff threatened eon Wednesday to shell Hezbollah positions in Lebanon after accusing it of firing across the border into territory it controls in Syria.

“In the past week… Hezbollah has been shelling into villages around Qusayr from Lebanese territory, and that we cannot accept,” FSA’s General Selim Idriss told Agence France Presse on the phone, adding that the rebels have given Hezbollah a 48-hour deadline to stop the attacks.

“Hezbollah has long been sending combatants into Syria to fight alongside Bashar Assad’s forces, and we just fight them on our territory,” said Idriss.

“But what we cannot accept is that Hezbollah is abusing Lebanese sovereignty by shelling from Lrbanon Syrian territory and Free Syrian Army positions,” said Idris

Idriss claimed that Hezbollah had fired into villages around Qusayr from the border village of Zeita, a Hezbollah stronghold in the Bekaa valley of Lebanon.

“As soon as the ultimatum ends, we will start responding to the sources of fire,” Idris said.

Three Lebanese Shiites have been killed in fighting in Syria, a Hezbollah official said Sunday, as the Syrian opposition accused the Lebanese group of intervening on the side of the regime.

He said they were acting in “self-defense,” without specifying if they were Hezbollah members.

Just hours earlier, the main bloc of the Syrian opposition accused the Damascus ally of having intervened “militarily” on the side of the regime, and warned this posed a threat to ties between neighbors Syria and Lebanon.

Hezbollah has systematically denied sending fighters into Syria, though its leader Hasan Nasrallah acknowledged in October 2012 that party members had fought Syrian rebels but said they were acting as individuals and not under the group’s direction.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the three slain Lebanese were members of pro-regime militias who had been trained by Hezbollah.

Louay al-Meqdad, spokesman for the Supreme Council of the Free Syrian Army, has accused Hezbollah of shelling Syrian territory with artillery and rocket launchers from bases inside Lebanon.

3 more killed

lebanon map qusayrThree Hezbollah members were killed on Wednesday in an attack by the Islamist al-Nusra Front in a border town between Lebanon and Syria, the Turkish state-run Anadolu agency reported.

This is in addition to the three Lebanese Shiites that were killed on sunday

“The attack targeted a Hezbollah patrol in (the Bekaa border town of) Zeita, killing three of the party’s members,” informed sources told Anadolu.

The sources revealed: “The party had an agreement with the Free Syria Army to neutralize these towns from the ongoing Syrian conflict”. “But Hezbollah has since the attack decided to deploy members in eight frontier villages”.

The Syrian opposition has long accused the group of helping the Syrian leadership crack down on the uprising — a claim the group has repeatedly denied.

Full alert

Hezbollah has announced that its ranks are now on full alert in eight Lebanese-Syrian border towns following an attack that was carried out by Syria’s Al-Nusra Front against a Hezbollah patrol, Turkish Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday.

Anadolu also quoted its sources as saying that “thirteen Al-Nusra Front members attacked a Hezbollah patrol in the Lebanese southern town of Zeita which led to the death of three of the Shiite group’s members.”

Hezbollah has been supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad ever since the uprising began in March 2011, even though the group supported revolts in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Bahrain. The group says it is backing the Syrian regime because of its support for the anti-Israel resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine and because it is willing to implement political reforms.

Hezbollah dominates the current Lebanese government of PM Nagib Mikati