Syrian National Coalition member responsible for security and defense Kamal al-Labwani warned Tuesday that the rebels will fight Hezbollah in Lebanon after the group provided military support for the Syrian regime.
“ Hezbollah has fought against us on our land, we will fight it on its own turf, but not for the time being,” Labwani was quoted as saying by NOW during a press meeting Amman, Jordan
Labwani added that “after our victory in Syria, we will work to get rid of Hezbollah’s military wing with the cooperation of the Lebanese people and abolish the party , which we consider as our enemy.”
Labwani vowed : “We will not rest until Hezbollah is eliminated.”
The SNC official also said that the rebels will “militarily punish” Hezbollah which will “pay for the crimes it has committed against the Syrian people.”
The opposition figure described the Lebanese government as being a “Hezbollah’s government,” and denied any contact with it.
However, he noted that the Syrian opposition is in contact with “people who publically pretend to be pro-Hezbollah when [in fact] they are not,” as well as with a “mediator with Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri… and pro-Syrian revolution parties.”
The SNC official also slammed the Lebanese state for its handling of the Syrian refugee issue.
“The behavior of the Lebanese state towards Syrian refugees is very bad on both the humanitarian and political levels. The state is against their presence.”
However, Labwani praised the Lebanese people who “continue to help the refugees.”
Labwani revealed also that the SNC is considering restructuring its military force.
“The coalition is studying forming a national army made up mainly of dissident officers who are estimated to number around 7000… They might be trained in Jordan or Turkey to conduct operations against the regime army.”
“However, we have not yet received a positive answer in this regard,” he added.
When asked about the opposition’s vision for the future of Syria in the event that they succeed in ousting Assad, Labwani stressed that they wanted to establish a civil state.
“We do not want a religious or a national state… a civil state is the answer and any other [type] of state would [lead to] division.”
More than 100,000 people have been killed so far in the Syrian unrest, which began with peaceful anti-regime protests in March 2011, before devolving into a full-fledged war.
Photo: Kamal al-Labwani, a prominent Sunni Muslim opposition figure, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Amman January 19, 2012. Syria’s religious and ethnic minorities need to work together with liberal Sunni Muslims to counter the influence of Islamists in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, al-Labwani said. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji (JORDAN – Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)