Abu Jafar, a spokesman for an opposition group in Quneitra on the Syrian part of
the Golan, told Al Jazeera earlier this month that his group’s fighters would
not attack Israel if it decided to invade Syria.
rebels are being funded and armed largely by Arab Gulf countries, which are at
odds with the Shi’ite axis of Iran and Hezbollah.
Meanwhile, the violence
in Syria continued to spill over into Lebanon, with Lebanese President Michel
Suleiman calling for Hezbollah to remove its forces from Syria as the war brings
sectarian tensions in his country to a tipping point.
“If they take part
in a battle for Aleppo, and more Hezbollah fighters are killed, it will lead to
more tension,” Suleiman told the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir
in an interview
published on Thursday.
Suleiman, a Maronite Christian, has become
increasingly assertive in criticizing Syria, which dominated his country
militarily and politically for three decades before the outbreak of the uprising
against President Bashar Assad in 2011.
Lebanon’s National News Agency
said Suleiman sent the Arab League a memorandum on Thursday requesting an end to
Syrian violations of Lebanese sovereignty. He gave a similar note to the United
Nations representative in Beirut earlier this week.
The insurgents have
suffered a series of setbacks on the battlefield and are besieged in the
outskirts of Damascus, facing a slow but steady advance by Assad’s forces, which
have begun to regain the upper hand.
In a sign of the devastation being
wrought by the war, the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO put the six World
Heritage Sites in Syria on its danger list of imperiled monuments on Thursday,
urging international efforts to protect them.
Meanwhile, the cold war
atmosphere between the Sunni and Shi’ite world continues as the Gulf Cooperation
Council condemned Hezbollah’s role in the Syrian war, announcing that it would
take action against Hezbollah loyalists living in GCC member states, according
to a report in the London- based Asharq al-Awsat
“The GCC will take
measures against [those] in the GCC countries affiliated with Hezbollah in
rights to their residencies, as well as their financial and business
transactions,” the GCC said.
The GCC called on Lebanon to act against the
organization, saying it should “shoulder its responsibilities toward
The Sunni Arab media continues to criticize US President
Barack Obama for not intervening strongly in support of the rebels.
Abu Shakra, writing in Asharq al-Awsat
on Thursday complains that Obama is all
talk and no action.
“In reality, President Obama, who is serving his
second term in office, has been doing nothing but making statements and
expressing optimism of a change happening somehow somewhere, brushing off
prospects of the US being drawn into a confrontation,” said Shakra.
exception is Jordan, where the regime worries about a victory by the
Islamist-dominated opposition in Syria and that the Arab uprisings could spread
there next, especially if the rebels topple Assad.