SNC: Hezbollah, regime troops massing outside Homs


hezbollah funeral for fighterMouayed Ghezlan a key member of the opposition Syrian National Coalition’s general secretariat said Thursday that the Syrian regime forces backed by Hezbollah fighters have been massing outside the Homs province town of Tal Qadesh.

“There are large masses of Hezbollah and Syrian army troops to the west of Homs; the shelling today intensified as a prelude to storm the area and gain control of Tal Qadesh,” Ghezlan told CNN in an interview on Thursday .

He added that “ residents of the area… have seen [Hezbollah members] with their own eyes.”

Ghezlan urged “the Lebanese government to put an end to Hezbollah’s interference in Syrian affairs” .

Hezbollah fighters have reportedly deployed in the Homs province along the border with Lebanon, sparking anger from Syrian rebels who accuse the party of fighting alongside the regime.

AFP reported on Monday that two Hezbollah members died fighting alongside Syrian government forces in the Al-Qusayr area outside Homs.

In February, Free Syrian Army chief of staff General Selim Idriss said that the rebel army is poised to launch a military campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, a bomb was discovered in Beirut’s Hay al-Sellom area on Tuesday reportedly with a message on it from Al-Nusra Front targeting Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has acknowledged that its members living in Syrian villages on the border with Lebanon have taken part in battles against “armed groups” in self-defense. However, it refuses to discuss allegations by Syrian rebels that it has sent fighters from Lebanon to bolster the forces of its ally, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

Geagea slams Hezbollah

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea urged authorities to put an end to Hezbollah’s role in the violence in neighboring Syria for fear it could have a “catastrophic” impact on Lebanon.

“I call on Lebanese authorities to demand from Hezbollah to immediately stop sending fighters to Syria, because its involvement there threatens catastrophic repercussions for Lebanon,” Geagea told An-Nahar newspaper in remarks published Thursday.

Geagea accused Hezbollah of dragging Lebanese into the Syria conflict against their will.

“Where is Hezbollah taking itself, or the young men of the Shiite community or Lebanon or the Lebanese against their will?”

He appealed to the “wise men” among the Shiite sect in Lebanon to put an end to the dragging of the Shiite community and, therefore Lebanon, into the bloody Syrian conflict.”

“Hezbollah can’t be labeled as a resistance anymore after the reports of its deep involvement in the Syrian war” the LF leader said.