BEIRUT: A potential strike against the government of President Bashar Assad would fail to bring an end to the regime there and only make it more “ferocious,” caretaker Works and Transport Minister Ghazi Aridi said Saturday.
“The strike against Syria is coming but there are attempts to limit its extent and therefore it will not be decisive or lead to the fall of the regime,” he told the Voice of Lebanon radio station.
“After the military strike the regime will grow in strength and ferocity,” he added.
He also warned of “catastrophic” consequences should any Lebanese side take any steps in light of the increasingly likely U.S.-led military strike against the regime in Damascus.
“Any miscalculation or practice by any Lebanese side over the expected strike against Syria will have catastrophic consequences at the political, security and economic levels,” he said.
“No one in Lebanon can claim they are not concerned for their children during this difficult security situation, particularly given that we are at the doors of a new school year and there is a fear that these places may be targeted,” he said.
Tension in Lebanon has spiked following a series of deadly car bombings linked to the crisis in Syria and the growing possibility of a U.S.-led military strike against the regime of President Bashar Assad over an alleged chemical weapons attack last week outside Damascus.
For his part, caretaker Economy Minister Nicolas Nahas said Lebanon would not serve as a conduit for any potential strike against Syria and urged the Lebanese to commit to Beirut’s self-disassociation policy.
“ Lebanon will not be a conduit for striking Syria and this is a position that the [caretaker] Cabinet is holding on to,” the minister told the radio station.
He urged the Lebanese not to interfere in Syrian affairs and said that he insisted on a commitment to the “the self-disassociation policy because it is the only way to protect Lebanon and the Lebanese.”
“The fatal error by the Lebanese will be when they interfere directly or indirectly with Syrian affairs and self-distancing is the safest option for the people of Lebanon,” he said.
Nahas also warned that divisions between rival Lebanese forces weakened the county, exposing it to dangers.
“Storms find the weakest places to enter and maybe Lebanon could be next after Syria,” he said.
“The Lebanese should reconsider their previous stances because the [regional] scene has changed.”