BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Geagea: Work to push militants out, not help Assad

The March 14 has backed Geagea’s nomination while Aoun remains the March 8 group’s undeclared candidate for the country’s top Christian post. (The Daily Star/Aldo Ayoub, HO)

BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea expressed his concern Friday over the transformation of the Army’s battle against militants to a campaign helping the Assad regime forces.

“I have a feeling that this battle is becoming a battle of support to the Syrian regime rather than a battle of pushing Syrian militants out,” Geagea said in a morning radio interview.

“We refuse the existence of any militant on Lebanese soil,” he said, “and our concern is to get the Syrian militants off the Lebanese territory.”

Geagea criticized calls for the army to eliminate all militants rather than simply pushing them back to Syria.

“Some voices wanted to transform the battle into a never-ending war between the Lebanese Army and the militants in Arsal,” he added, smashing attempts to influence the army’s strategy by politicians.

The Maronite leader expressed confidence that the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, whose name was recently changed to the Islamic State, “will not enter any area in Lebanon,” saying: “We have never been, and will not be afraid.

“The real solution is through the state’s security forces.”

Geagea said Lebanon could not see peace as long as Hezbollah was fighting in Syria.

“As long as the Syrian crisis continues with Hezbollah actively participating, we should expect anything,” he said.

“Hezbollah’s fighting in Syria opened a wide door for the extremist movements, be it ISIS or the Nusra Front or others, to intervene in Lebanon.

He called for a monitoring of borders that prevent the crossing of any militants from any side, referring to Hezbollah’s combatants heading to Syria.

Geagea criticized all views advocating cooperation with the Syrian regime over Arsal or any other matter.

“No one should suggest interaction or dialogue with a criminal regime that hits its people with chemical weapons and explosive barrels, killing more than 200,000 of its population,” he said.

 

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