Damascus threatens to strike Syrian rebel groups in Lebanon

Syrian rebel fighters celebrate after taking over the village of Aljanodiya, northwestern Idlib province, following fighting against pro-Syrian regime forces, on Jan. 30. (AFP)

 Damascus warned Friday that it will strike Syrian opposition forces in Lebanon if the Lebanese army does not stop the rebels from entering the country.

According to the Syrian Foreign Ministry, a large number of armed rebels have infiltrated into Syrian territory from the Lebanese border, the SANA state news agency reported Friday.

The report added that the opposition forces have entered the area of Al-Mathouma, Ain al-Shaara, Al-Jousiya and Karyat in Tal Kalakh’s countryside.

"Terrorist groups are still present inside the Lebanese lands, they are seen by the naked eye from the sites of our forces, who are practicing the utmost degree of self-restraint, hoping the Lebanese competent authorities to exert their efforts in controlling the borders with Syria," the Syrian foreign ministry said in a cable sent to Lebanon.

The ministery added that although the Syrian army is restraining itself from hitting “rebel targets” in Lebanon, its patience is not “unlimited.”

Lebanon has repeatedly said that it dissociates itself from the Syrian conflict. However, there have been intermittent clashes in the northern part of the country between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad supporters and those against him.

Last Update: Friday, 15 March 2013 KSA 21:36 - GMT 18:36