Syria offers to help Lebanon fight ‘terrorism’

A special unit from the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) take part in a drill in the northern Beirut suburb of Dbayeh on Jan.11. (Reuters)

The Syria regime of embattled President Bashar al-Assad is ready to lend neighboring Lebanon a hand in combatting terrorism, the Syrian state-run agency reported late Thursday.

The Syrian Interior Ministry stressed its readiness to help Lebanon “in the fields of counter terrorism, pursuing terrorists, and halting their crimes that target the stability of Lebanon, Syria and the region,” SANA reported.

The ministry statement added that Syria is “prepared to offer all available means in order to thwart terrorist operations that target the security and safety of the two brotherly peoples of Lebanon and Syria.”

Damascus has repeatedly argued that it is fighting foreign-backed terrorists while the Syrian National Coalition has described President Assad as heading a “terrorist regime” with ties to al-Qaeda-linked groups.

The Syrian ministry statement also condemned the recent suicide bombings in Beirut.

Two suicide car bomb blasts near the Iranian Cultural Center in Bir Hasan Wednesday killed at least 11 people and wounded almost 120 others, in the latest attack in Lebanon linked to the war raging in Syria. They were claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades.

The Syrian ministry said the aim of these “terrorist operation is clearly to target Lebanon, its people and state, through spreading terrorism and exporting extremist takfiri ideology that harm the region.”

Hezbollah, which acknowledged last year it was fighting alongside Syrian regime forces against rebels, claims its military campaign in Syria aims at curbing the “takfiri” threat facing Lebanon.

Opponents of Hezbollah, on the other hand, say the group’s military involvement in Syria prompted the increase in bombings in Lebanon.

The vast majority of explosions have been in the southern suburbs of Beirut and the northeastern town of Hermel, both Hezbollah strongholds.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41