BEIRUT: The Future parliamentary bloc Tuesday described the recent talk about attacks carried out in Christian villages in Syria as “suspicious,” saying the Syrian regime could not be trusted to protect minority groups.
“The bloc stresses the importance of being careful while talking about [reports of] attacks [on Maaloula] circulated by the Syrian regime and others, so that such issues won’t ignite provocation and be used as a political tool [by the regime],” the bloc said in a statement after its weekly meeting.
“The bloc considers the timing of talk about the attacks on Maaloula suspicious because it comes at a time when the eyes of the world are focused on the crimes committed by the Syrian regime via its use of chemical weapons against its people,” it added.
Syrian rebels and regime forces recently fought over the ancient town of Maaloula, where fighters reportedly desecrated Christian areas, prompting religious figures including Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai to voice their concern for Christians living there.
The bloc, a staunch critic of President Bashar Assad, also said that the regime was disseminating “false and malignant claims that it is protecting minorities, particularly Christians.”
“The bloc reminds [the people] of what the regime and its intelligence agency did to the Lebanese for years, regardless of their sect, particularly against Christians, which proves that the Syrian regime cannot protect Christians in Lebanon or in Syria,” the Future statement added.
It also called on the international community to shoulder its responsibility to protect minorities by taking immediate, serious and practical measure to stop the Syrian regime’s attacks on its people and hold it accountable for its alleged use of poisonous gas.
The bloc, headed by former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, also took a swipe at Hezbollah, condemning the self-protection measures used by “certain parties,” which it said have extended to Beirut streets at night, frightening residents and threatening the return of militia rule.