BEIRUT: An Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group in Lebanon said Monday that Hezbollah had made the Lebanese Army an easy target when it enlisted its protection and asked it to turn a blind eye to its border activities, and the militants called on the country’s “rational” citizens to stay out of its battle with the party.
On Twitter, the Nusra Front in Lebanon said “any rational human being is aware of the injustice inflicted by Iran’s party on all the Lebanese and Syrian regions, especially in [the Syrian border towns] Qusair and Qalamoun. This wouldn’t have happened without Hezbollah’s men and equipment passing into Syria through the Lebanese border crossings under the eyes of the government and the Lebanese Army, which it controls.”
“Hezbollah is replacing its fighters daily in Syria through the Army crossings. It has also tasked the Lebanese Army with protecting its quarters so that it can devote itself to battling the Sunni-Syrian people, thus putting the Lebanese Army at the forefront to pay the price of its crimes in Syria,” the statement added.
Nusra Front in Lebanon claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing Saturday on an Army checkpoint in Hermel. The hard-line group has also said it was behind three other bombings this year in areas linked with Hezbollah, including in Beirut’s southern suburbs.
“We consider all the quarters of Hezbollah a legitimate target for us, so leave the two of us alone in the battlefield because we have a big score to settle with Hezbollah,” the statement warned. “To the rational people in Lebanon we say: Keep your sons away from our battle against Wilayat al-Faqih and don’t help to the persecutor against the oppressed.”
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 25, 2014, on page 4.