BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's imminent victory in Aleppo will increase Syrian and Iranian influence in Lebanon, the leading Lebanese Druse politician said on Thursday, as Assad said Lebanon could not remain unscathed by regional conflicts.
The Syrian army and allied forces have made rapid gains against anti-Assad rebels' main urban stronghold in Aleppo in the past two weeks, and look closer than ever to taking the city at the heart of a conflict now in its sixth year.
"Assad will win in Aleppo, benefiting from the fact that most of the international community has given up on the Syrian people. Then he will destroy Idlib," said Walid Jumblatt, the main political leader of the minority Druse community in Lebanon and head of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP).
Idlib province is the rebels' largest remaining patch of territory in heavily populated western Syria.