BEIRUT: The head of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, praised Monday the deployment of Lebanese security forces in the southern suburbs of Beirut and urged residents to cooperate fully with authorities in their mission.
“Hezbollah greatly welcomes this move [the security deployment] and appreciates this national decision that state officials have taken,” Nasrallah said during a televised speech.
“We hope the state can always fulfill its legal and national duties in all cities, towns and governorates in Lebanon,” he added.
Hundreds of the Lebanon’s security forces deployed earlier Monday in the Beirut suburbs, the recent target of deadly car bombings that prompted the resistance group to set up checkpoints.
Nasrallah called on residents of the southern suburbs to help security forces in doing their job.
“I call on all residents of the southern suburbs and those who come to it or pass through to exercise the highest levels of cooperation ... and ...show respect to the measures and checkpoints of these security personnel and provide all the help and support to them in fulfilling their mission,” Nasrallah added.
He also denied accusations by March 14 officials that Hezbollah was employing “private security” measures in the aftermath of the deadly car bombings as part of a plan to establish a mini-state.
Nasrallah said following the explosions in the southern suburbs Hezbollah had sought help from the state to provide security but that security bodies voiced a lack of readiness at the time.
He said the state’s inability to provide protection was what had prompted Hezbollah’s security measures in the suburbs and other Lebanese areas.
“The facts today show the accusations of these groups to be false. If Hezbollah was insistent on employing self-security, it would not welcome and cooperate [with the deployment of the security force],” Nasrallah said.
“We also oppose self-security: this is not part of our culture and was never part of our political program,” the Hezbollah chief said.