'Hezbollah, Syria try to expand conflict into Lebanon'

Lebanese news outlet says Syrian rebel advance spurs Hezbollah and Syria to try to expand the theater of the conflict.

Syrian tank is seen in Damascus 370 (photo credit: REUTERS / Handout)
Syrian tank is seen in Damascus 370
(photo credit: REUTERS / Handout)
Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime are trying to push the Syrian conflict into Lebanon as rebel forces continue to advance, according to sources quoted by the Now Lebanon website.
“President Bashar Assad’s regime and Hezbollah now realize that it is impossible for them to regain control over Syria, therefore they are looking to cancel Lebanon’s parliamentary elections and cause security instability in Tripoli, Sidon and other regions,” sources told Now Lebanon.
By canceling the elections, the Hezbollah-controlled government would be able to stay in power until the Syrian conflict dies down, said Lebanese MP Ammar Houri, who was speaking on the Voice of Lebanon radio station on Sunday.
Houri’s Future movement is a Sunni-dominated party led by Sa’ad Hariri and is part of the March 14 alliance, which is opposed to the Shi’ite-dominated March 8 alliance led by Hezbollah.
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The report comes as Lebanon continues to be flooded by Syrian refugees, a circumstance that is further destabilizing the situation.
The number of refugees now tops 336,000 according to the Lebanese Daily Star.
Drawing Lebanon deeper into the Syrian war, there are increasing reports of cross-border fighting along the Lebanese-Syrian border as Sunnis and Shi’ites move to support their respective communities.
Reflecting this, Sheikh Naim Qassem, the deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anbaa that his party supports Shi’ites living in Syrian border communities.
“Hezbollah has an obligation to train and arm Lebanese citizens residing in [Syria’s] Qussayr villages in order to prevent their displacement to Lebanon,” Now Lebanon quoted him as saying.