Lebanese army slams ‘plot’ to embroil country in Syria war

Lebanese army soldiers deploy on Syria street in Tripoli's Sunni neighbourhood of Bab al-Tabbaneh, June 7th 2013. (AFP)

The Lebanese army warned on Friday that a plot was afoot to embroil the country in the 26-month conflict in neighboring Syria, as deadly clashes between Damascus supporters and opponents inside Lebanon multiply.

“The army command... calls on citizens to be wary of plots aimed at taking Lebanon backwards and dragging it into an absurd war,” a statement said, adding that it would give an “armed response to any armed action.”

“The army command has been trying for several months to work firmly, determinedly and patiently to prevent Lebanon being turned into a battlefield for regional conflicts and to prevent any spillover of the events in Syria,” it said.

“But in recent days, some groups have seemed determined to stoke security tensions... against the backdrop of the political divisions in Lebanon over military developments in Syria.”

It was the strongest statement from the Lebanese army since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule erupted in March 2011.

It came after the public intervention of Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah movement alongside Assad’s troops in the battle for the border town of Qusayr which culminated in its recapture on Wednesday and deepened political divisions.

Sunni communities in Lebanon have been sending arms and fighters to the mainly Sunni rebels inside Syria.

One person was killed and seven wounded in a clash in the heart of Lebanon’s second-largest city Tripoli on Thursday in the latest in a spate of deadly violence between Lebanese supporters and opponents of the Damascus regime.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:40 - GMT 06:40