Former Prime Minister and Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri called Sunday for pressuring the Lebanese government to dissolve pro-Syrian parties the Arab Democratic Party and Islamic Unity Movement.
His comments come after Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk urged the cabinet to dissolve the two parties, following a court that accused Damascus of involvement in the 2013 Tripoli mosque bombings.
Hariri urged the Cabinet “to take responsibility and dismantle these parties for their involvement in the terrorist bombings.”
“The crime of participating in the bombing or refraining from informing the authorities about the plot despite previous knowledge of it, reveals that these two parties are an arm of the [Syrian President Bashar] Assad terrorism.”
The request to dissolve the parties came initially from resigned Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi, who earlier this month accused the ADP of having ties to the attacks on the two mosques and said the other party is operating illegally.
In a Sept. 2 indictment, Lebanon’s military court accused two Syrian officers of involvement in the mosque bombings, which killed more than 47 people and wounded hundreds of others.
The indictment said that investigations indicated that the orders to detonate the bombs outside the Tripoli mosques originated from a high-level security agency “located in the Syrian intelligence.”
The attack took place on Aug. 23, 2013, when two car bombs exploded nearly simultaneously outside the mosques as worshipers left following Friday prayers. The bombings were widely considered to be part of the spillover of the Syrian Civil War into Lebanon. The first explosion hit outside the Al-Taqwa Mosque, home of the Sunni preacher Sheikh Salem al-Rafei. A few minutes later, a second blast rocked the Al-Salam Mosque on the streets of al-Mina, an affluent harbour area, home to moderates, businessmen and politicians. Although nobody has claimed responsibility, it was perceived as an attack on the Lebanese Sunni community, with residents blaming Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah.
“We repeat our pledge to Tripoli that we will not tire before bringing to justice each person named in the indictment, and ensuring that they are justly punished. We will not relinquish the blood of our martyrs,” Hariri added.