BEIRUT: Lebanon's Former Security Chief Jamil al-Sayyed held talks Sunday with Syrian President Bashar Assad over the regime's offensive near Lebanon, saying the operation would allow the Lebanese Army to better control the porous border.
According to Sayyed's press office, during the meeting in Damascus the two discussed the “outcome of the regime’s military operations in Syrian towns bordering Lebanon’s Akkar and the Bekaa.”
The operation was aimed at “cleansing [the region] of terrorist organizations which would give the Lebanese Army the chance to efficiently control the border in coordination with the Syrian side after three years of chaos that have transformed the border areas into an open front against Syria.”
Syrian regime forces have launched a military offensive to root out rebels in the Qalamoun region along Lebanon's border while the Lebanese Army began last month implementing a security plan to crackdown on car bombing rings and curb the infiltration of armed groups into Lebanon.
Sayyed, a controversial figure in Lebanon and close to the Syrian regime, is a former General Security head who was briefly detained for his suspected role in the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Sayyed said that the presidential election in Syria was a domestic affair and that the polls would be held regardless of the situation.
"Developments in Syria are moving in two parallel directions: Addressing terrorism and takfiri terrorist groups and encouraging speedy national reconciliation in various towns and villages including those which have already begun in Zabadani and Jobar,” Sayyed said, according to the statement.
“The constitutional deadlines particularly the presidential election are a Syrian affair that cannot be disrupted by ongoing events, similar to elections in other countries such as Iraq, Tunisia, Libya, and Afghanistan,” he added.