Syrian opposition denounces Hezbollah leader’s ‘threats’

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The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) on Wednesday denounced remarks made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah as “nothing but threats,” warning against the Lebanese Shiite group’s intervention in the Syrian conflict.

“The Syrians and the Lebanese hoped... that the Hezbollah leadership would stop their attacks on Homs and Damascus and take into account the gravity of the situation in the region,” the key opposition grouping said in a statement, in reference to a speech from Nasrallah on Tuesday evening.

“But they heard nothing but threats... and warnings against setting the region on fire and an admission of their interference in Syrian affairs,” the statement added, according to AFP.

On Tuesday, Nasrallah said Syria’s friends would not let the embattled regime of President Bashar al-Assad fall.

“Syria has true friends in the region who will not allow Syria to fall into the hands of the United States, Israel and ‘takfiri’ groups,” the Hezbollah chief said, referring to Sunni Muslims fighting to overthrow Assad.

Reports have emerged that Hezbollah fighters were fighting with Assad forces against rebels in Shiite villages near the Lebanon border. However, Nasrallah’s comments on Tuesday were the strongest indication yet that his group was ready to get more substantially involved to rescue Assad’s government.

In his speech, Nasrallah said the Syrian opposition fighting pro-Assad forces will not be able to topple the Syrian president militarily, adding that dialogue was their only way out.

“The Syrian opposition is the one refusing dialogue. Whoever wants to resolve the Syrian crisis, a political solution is the only way,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nasrallah also said that armed rebel groups battling Assad pose a “threat” to Lebanese residents living near border towns.

“A large number of [rebels] was preparing to capture villages inhabited by Lebanese,” so it was “normal to offer every possible and necessary aid to help the Syrian army, popular committees (pro-government militia) and the Lebanese,” Nasrallah said.

“The Lebanese state is incapable of protecting Lebanese towns near the Syrian border.”

“Defending them doesn’t need a decision from anyone. We won’t leave town residents without any help.”