BEIRUT: Lebanese politicians weighed in Friday on the merits of a possible U.S.-led strike on Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons, with Druze leader Walid Jumblatt doubting that the action would be decisive.
“Whether or not a military strike against Syria takes place, it won’t, in my opinion, be decisive, because of the absence of international agreement over the strike, and the period that follows,” Jumblatt said.
The only “decisive” scenario for Syria, Jumblatt said, required a wide-scale agreement among countries in the region and elsewhere on how to remove Assad and senior figures implicated in bloodshed both “before and after the chemical massacre in rural Damascus.”
The post- Assad scenario should include a plan for preventing the collapse of the Syrian state, and the foundations of a new political order based on pluralism and democracy, he said.
Future Movement MP Ahmad Fatfat said some repercussions of the expected strike had already materialized in Lebanon, while others would depend on the reaction of Hezbollah.
Speaking to a local radio station, the Minyeh MP argued that refugee arrivals to Lebanon were on the rise, along with the use of Beirut airport, by “some [Syrian officials].”
“The security and military repercussions will depend on the stance of Hezbollah after a strike, and based on its nature and scope,” he added. “If the strike is a harsh one, changing the balance of power, this could be good for Lebanon in the medium-term, solving the Syria crisis politically and seeing Syrian refugees return to their country.”
But figures from the March 8 camp continued to slam any U.S.-led action against Syria.
Baath Party official Fayez Shukr said the current “hysteria” in the run-up to a possible military action against Syria demonstrated that allies of the U.S. in the region, backing “gangs of terror and crime” had failed to achieve military progress against the Damascus regime.
The Lebanese Democratic Party, headed by former Minister Talal Arslan, criticized what it called “fabricated” accusations of chemical weapons use, which echoed the U.S.-led war on Iraq a decade ago.