Lebanese president cautions Hezbollah over Syria role

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Lebanon's President Michel Sleiman cautioned the Shiite group Hezbollah on Friday over its militia fighting alongside regime troops in neighboring Syria, AFP reported.

“The resistance is more noble and more important than anything, and should not get bogged down in the sands of dissension, whether in Syria or Lebanon,” he said in a statement, referring to Hezbollah's strong stance against Israel.

This comes as at least seventy-five fighters from the Hezbollah militant group were reported killed in Syria since first becoming involved in the war months ago.

A source close to the Shiite militant group said: “There have been 57 killed and 18 others who have died of their wounds since the start of its (Hezbollah’s) participation in the war in Syria,” the source told AFP.

The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) held Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah personally responsible for the situation in the Syrian border town of Qusayr, as sectarian tension was on the rise in neighboring Lebanon.

“We announced that Hassan Nasrallah will be held personally responsible for the current situation because he in person is meeting with all of [his fighters] before they head to Qusayr,” FSA spokesperson Louay Almokdad told Al Arabiya English. “We are today calling Nasrallah a killer of the Syrian people.”

However, according to Imad Salamey – a professor of International Affairs at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, the Lebanese government cannot do anything to stop the powerful Party of God.

“The Lebanese government has been and continues to be in a state of paralysis, which mostly works in Hezbollah’s interest,” Salamey told Al Arabiya English on Monday. “The government cannot stop Hezbollah, and the [Lebanese] army stopping Hezbollah from intervening in Syria will definitely not be the case.”

“Hezbollah is being dragged further into the Syrian conflict, and it is not going to end in Qusayr,” he said, adding that the movement “was dragging Lebanon into a civil war.”

At least 23 people have been killed since Sunday in Syria-linked clashes between Sunni and Alawite residents in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli.

The violence is tied to the conflict in Syria, where the Sunni-led uprising is fighting to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, an Alawite.

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