30 Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria to be buried in Lebanon


hezbollah funeral for fighterBodies of 30 fighters belonging to the militant group Hezbollah arrived to Lebanon from Syria, Syrian opposition sources told Al Arabiya on Monday.

The sources added that Al-Quds Brigade commander, whose known by his nickname, Abu Ajeeb, was also killed in Syria in battles against rebels.

Reports have emerged that members of the Lebanese Shiite group were fighting with forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels.

Former Hezbollah chief Subhi al-Tufaili told Al Arabiya in an interview earlier this week that at least 138 Hezbollah fighters have been killed in the Syria fighting.

Tufaili added that Hezbollah, who is backed by Iran and the Syrian regime, was told to fight with the Assad forces in direct orders from Tehran.

However, the Shiite group has repeatedly stated that it was not taking part in the fighting in Syria.

Hezbollah leads fight in Syria’s Qusayr

Hezbollah is reportedly leading the fight against the rebels in a strategic town in Homs province, a rebel Free Syrian Army (FS) commander told Al Arabiya on Friday.

Colonel Fateh Hassoun, who is the deputy chief of Staff and commander of FSA front in the central province of Homs, said the Syrian army is bombarding certain areas to help camouflage Hezbollah fighters.

He added it is the latest military tactic that is being employed by the Syrian government.

Qusayr, a town near a key highway that links Damascus to Syria’s coast, has witnessed fierce fighting between Syrian rebels and Hezbollah fighters, according to activists.

The two-year Syrian conflict, which started with peaceful protests against the president, has morphed into a civil war that has affected its neighboring countries, including Lebanon.

At least 70,000 people have been killed since the start of the Syrian conflict and about 1.4 million left their conflict-ravaged country, the U.N. says.

Stay out

A minister in Britain’s Foreign Office implored the Lebanese to step back from the Syrian conflict Monday, saying “neutrality is the braver choice” after the country has been shaken by the increased participation of Hezbollah in the Syrian bloody war.

“Don’t send your sons to fight and die in Syria,” Alistair Burt said at a news conference in Beirut on Monday.

Burt expressed his support of the disassociation policy when he met with President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam. He also mentioned the importance of holding elections on time.

Al Arabiya/ Agencies