Hezbollah coffin in Syria.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman warned Friday against Hezbollah dragging the country into sectarian conflict, in reference to the Shi'ite group's operatives fighting in neighboring Syria, the Beirut-based Daily Star reported.
can a nation [like Lebanon] provide such a wonderful example of
resistance and sacrifice, while at the same time promoting sectarian
differences?” Suleiman was quoted as saying.
president's remarks came following a major assault by Syrian President
Bashar Assad's forces on a rebel held town over the past week, which has
drawn in fighters from Assad's Shi'ite allies Hezbollah, justifying
fears that the conflict would cross borders at the heart of the Middle
“The meanings of resistance (Hezbollah's military wing) are
loftier ... than sinking into strife, whether in Syria or Lebanon,” the
quoted Suleiman as saying at a ceremony marking 13 years since Israel pulled out of southern Lebanon.
resistance is more noble and more important than anything, and should
not get bogged down in the sands of dissension, whether in Syria or
Lebanon,” he added .
Hezbollah guerrillas have been engaged in fighting their
biggest battle yet for Assad, and about 30 were killed on Sunday, Syrian
activists said, during fighting in the rebel stronghold of Qusayr, near
the Lebanese border.
wants to secure the coastal region which is the homeland of his Alawite
minority sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam. He is backed by Shi'ite
Iran and Hezbollah against mainly Sunni rebels supported by Saudi Arabia
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a
pro-opposition London-based monitoring group, said Syrian army and
Hezbollah forces at Qusayr were trying to cut off rebels in the nearby
village of Hamidiya. State media said the army had destroyed "terrorist
dens" in Hamidiya and also killed eight "terrorists" in another village,
Daba, close to Qusayr.Reuters contributed to this report.