Former Hezbollah Secretary General Sheikh Sobhi Tfaili criticized the participation of Hezbollah fighters in the Syrian conflict, saying those who are killed in Syria will “go to hell” and are not considered martyrs.
During a televised interview this week, Tfaili “confirmed” that Hezbollah is fighting alongside the regime in Syria.
“Hezbollah members who kill children, terrorize people and destroy houses in Syria will not be martyrs and will end up in hell,” he said.
Tfaili added that Shiites in Syria do not need anyone to stand up for them.
“The Shiites in Syria do not need anyone to defend them. We are the ones who caused them trouble. Sayyidah Zaynab’s shrine does not need protection because she is also loved by the Sunni sect,” he said, in reference to reports that Shiite fighters were deployed around the shrine to defend it.
He added that Hezbollah fighters in Syria were only present to “defend the regime and its criminality.”
In October 2012, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged that party members had fought Syrian rebels but said they were acting as individuals and not under the party’s direction.
Earlier in February, a Hezbollah official said clashes on the Syrian border killed three of the group’s members and five Syrian opposition fighters.
Following the clashes, the Syrian National Council warned that this posed a threat to ties between neighbors Syria and Lebanon and the Free Syrian Army issued an ultimatum to Hezbollah to cease its operations in Syria or face attacks on its installations in Lebanon.
Media reports later emerged that the FSA targeted a Hezbollah base in Hermel, which is near the border with Syria but they were never confirmed. Hermel’s town of al-Qasr has been rumored to be a stronghold for Hezbollah fighters involved in the fighting in Syria.
Tfaili also criticized the Lebanese army for not forbidding Lebanese people in Hermel from going to Syria to fight.
“Why doesn’t the Lebanese army prevent Lebanese in Hermel from going to Syria to fight? Why doesn’t it protect citizens in Akkar towns bordering (Syria)?” he asked.
Tfaili also held Hezbollah responsible for every Shiite person killed in Syria and warned that the “Israeli enemy” was the first beneficiary from the struggle there.