UNITED NATIONS - The reported participation of Lebanese fighters on both sides of the escalating Syrian conflict violates the country's policy of not interfering in Syria's civil war and creates risks for Lebanon, the UN political affairs chief said on Wednesday.
The remarks from UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman came in a bleak assessment of the situation in Syria, in which he said that "if nothing is done to change the current dynamic, and to move toward a political solution, the destruction of Syria will be the likely outcome."
Feltman's report to the 15-nation Security Council came after the United Nations appealed for $1.5 billion to provide life-saving aid to millions of Syrians suffering in a "dramatically deteriorating" humanitarian situation in a conflict that has killed over 40,000 people.
"The situation in Lebanon remains severely affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria," Feltman said at a council meeting on the Middle East. "Cross-border shelling and arms smuggling continue."
"Multiple reports suggest there are Lebanese implicated in Syria's violence, both on the side of the Assad regime and the opposition," he said. "This violates the Lebanese government's 'disassociation' policy and puts Lebanon increasingly at risk."