Free Syrian Army threatens to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon
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Free Syrian Army threatens to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon

Damascus : Syria | Feb 21, 2013 at 6:14 AM PST
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Syrian opposition threatens Hezbollah

Free Syrian Army fighters threatened on Tuesday to hit Hezbollah targets unless the group ends its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Such a move would mark a dangerous escalation of the conflict in Syria that could destabilize its politically volatile neighbor, Lebanon and the region in general, The Washington Post reported.

According to a statement published by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on its Facebook page and via other social media, Hezbollah militants have a 48-hour deadline to stop the attacks.

“If Hezbollah shelling on Syrian land, on villages and unarmed civilians from inside Lebanese land does not stop in the next 48 hours from the release of this statement, we will take matters in our own hands to respond to the source of the shooting and stop it inside Lebanese territory,” the statement read.

Last Sunday, Hezbollah said two of his members were killed in battles inside Syria.

For his part, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has denied sending fighters into Syria although he acknowledged that some of Hezbollah militants were involved in clashes in the city of al-Qusayr. Nasrallah claimed that their actions, however, were purely defensive and they were operating as individuals and not under the group's direction.

However, on Saturday the Syrian National Council released a statement saying that Hezbollah fighters had crossed into Homs province and attacked three Syrian villages near the Lebanese border. The statement said that the Hezbollah attack had caused not only to civilian casualties but also the exodus of hundreds of people, it also stoked sectarian tensions in the area.

Meanwhile, state news agency SANA reported on Wednesday that one player from the Homs-based al-Wathbah club football team had been killed and several others wounded when two mortars launched by terrorists hit the grounds of the Tishreen sports stadium in central Damascus.

The players were in training at the time, the report said.

Earlier, two mortar shells crashed into an area near the southern wall of the Tishreen Palace and two nearby hospitals, causing damage but no casualties, SANA quoted an unnamed official as saying.

Further, Syrian regime TV claimed that security forces had detained a would-be suicide bomber with five bombs in his car, one of them weighing 300 kg.

The pro-regime Tishrin newspaper reported that the Syrian forces had captured many machine guns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, hand-made rockets, mortar shells and anti-tank missiles during an attack on armed gangs and terrorists in Damascus, Homs, Aleppo and Idlib.

In related news, a Lebanese military court on Wednesday handed out the death penalty to ex-minister Michel Samaha, Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, the head of the Syrian National Security Bureau and his aide, Col. Adnan, whose family name remains unknown. The three face charges of plotting attacks on political and religious figures in Lebanon.

Military magistrate Riad Abu Ghida said Samaha, Mamlouk and Adnan should be given the ultimate punishment for transporting explosives from Syria to Lebanon in an attempt to assassinate Lebanese political and religious leaders. They were also accused of targeting "Syrian gunmen" and "smugglers" in the Akkar region along Lebanon's northern border with Syria.

The military court also decided not to prosecute Buthaina Shaaban, a senior adviser to the Syrian president, citing lack of evidence.

Opinion:

The FSA’s warning will not bother Hezbollah because they know very well that the fall of the Syrian regime is also the fall of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah's support for the Syrian regime comes from an ideological perspective and they will continue to support Assad's regime whatever the cost.

Additionally, the FSA is certainly not looking to expand its battlefield to include Lebanon. Therefore, I expect that the FSA will target Hezbollah members inside Syria. It is possible, however, that this tension will ignite the Lebanese-Syrian border.

Meanwhile, everyone knows that the Lebanese judiciary cannot implement the rule of law against Syria's allies in Lebanon, simply because Hezbollah is more influential and more powerful than the government. The proof of this is that the men accused of Rafik Hariri's murder are members of Hezbollah. Moreover, the executors of the Bulgaria bombing are still in Lebanon under the protection of Hezbollah, who will certainly not surrender them to international justice.

Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/syrian-rebel-fighters-threaten-to-hit-hezbollah-targets-in-lebanon/2013/02/19/49e3d2f2-7abd-11e2-82e8-61a46c2cde3d_story.html The Washington Times.Feb 19.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4347380,00.html Yent news.Feb.19

http://www.yalibnan.com/2013/02/20/death-penalty-sought-for-samaha-and-2-syrian-officials/ Ya Lebanon news.Feb.20

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31 people have been killed in a bomb blast in Damascus. The Syrian opposition threatens to attack Hezbollah within the next 48 hours.
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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