Lebanon drawn into bloody Syria war as rockets pound Beirut

Last Updated: Monday, May 27, 2013 - 09:33

Zee Media Bureau

Beirut: The spillover effect of Syrian civil war has been manifested once again and this time it is the neighbouring Lebanon which has invited the conflict to its doors after Hezbollah chief vowed to fight alongside President Bashar al Assad’s troops to bring the regime to victory.

The backlash was evident when two rockets hit Hezbollah-governed districts - Mar Mikhael and Chiyah.

The rocket attack in turn was an aftereffect of violence in strategic Syrian town of Qusair near the Lebanese frontier where Hezbollah sent government troops to fight Syrian rebels.

Despite risks, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah made it clear there is no turning back. In a televised speech Saturday, he said Hezbollah will keep fighting alongside Assad`s forces until victory, regardless of the costs.

In a televised address, he also said Hezbollah members are fighting in Syria against Islamic radicals who pose a danger to Lebanon, and pledged that his group will not allow Syrian militants to control areas along the Lebanese border. He pledged that Hezbollah will turn the tide of the conflict in Assad`s favor, and stay as long as necessary to do so.

“I say to all the honourable people, to the mujahedeen, to the heroes: I have always promised you a victory and now I pledge to you a new one" in Syria, he added.

"We will continue this road until the end, we will take the responsibility and we will make all the sacrifices," he said. "We will be victorious."

The Hezbollah leader`s comments offered the clearest public confirmation yet that the Iranian-backed group is directly involved in Syria`s war.

For Hezbollah, it may well be an existential battle. If Assad falls, Hezbollah`s supply line of Iranian weapons through Syrian territory would dry up and it could become increasingly isolated in the region.
At the same time, Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group, is raising the sectarian stakes in Lebanon by declaring war on Syria`s rebels, most of them Sunni Muslims.

Lebanon and Syria share the same uneasy mix of Sunnis, Shiites, Christians and Alawites, or followers of an offshoot of Shiite Islam. In trying to defeat the rebels, Assad relies on support from minority Shiites, Christians and his fellow Alawites.

With Agency Inputs



First Published: Monday, May 27, 2013 - 09:32

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