BEIRUT: MP Fouad Siniora defended Friday an article he wrote about Syria in a magazine, wherein he asked the U.S. to do more in Syria, saying his words were misinterpreted by pro-Hezbollah media.
A statement issued by Siniora’s office said the former prime minister was the target of a media campaign by pro- Hezbollah media outlets, eversince he wrote an opinion piece for Foreign Policy magazine.
“[The headline was] the first sign that this campaign was fabricating information...Siniora did not start his article with the headline, as some Hezbollah media claime, with 'Mr. President, strike in Syria,' it was 'Step up in Syria, Mr. President'... the aim of this misinterpretation was clear,” the statement said.
It added that “ Hezbollah and the Syrian regime media,” claimed Siniora was encouraging Washington to launch a military strike on Syria “among other accusations, fabrications and false claims.”
“The article [however] asks the U.S. and the Western world to make a move and not let the humanitarian crisis get out of hand,” it said, noting that the piece made no mention of a military operation against Syria.
In his op-ed piece published on Sept. 10, Siniora said the U.S. “should do more” and change its course in Syria by supporting the forces of moderation, noting that the current policy has kept the Syrian regime alive and allowed for larger Iranian involvement in the Middle East.
With the aid of Hezbollah and Iran, President Bashar Assad was able to change the revolution into a sectarian fight, Siniora wrote.
Pro- Hezbollah media outlets including Al-Manar Television criticized Siniora, saying the former was asking President Barack Obama to launch a military strike against Assad.
In the statement Friday, Siniora’s office said Hezbollah was sending thousands of fighters into Syria and “causing the death of hundreds of Lebanese and Syrians” under the guise of a Jihadist action “while a campaign was launched on an opinion piece with a few rightful lines written in a magazine.”
“What a surprise! That is truly slander, injustice and bullying as they kill youth in Syria and Lebanon and call their mission Jihadist, meaning they were divinely tasked, and cannot tolerate any call to end the tragedy,” the statement said.
The office also said that the Lebanese “can no longer be fooled by these claims and knows well who is implicating Lebanon and involving it in more problems and pushing its youth to death and its country to ruin.”
It added that the regime’s use of chemical weapons against its people, an allegation that Assad has denied, “draws foreign intervention to Syria.”
“And they say: But you call for foreign attack on Syria? Where is the reason and logic in all this nonsense,” it said.