BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri Saturday warned against attempts at dragging the Lebanese into conflicts between Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda, a day after the local branch of the Nusra Front, which has claimed several bombings in Lebanon, called for the support of Sunnis in its battle against Hezbollah.
“The Lebanese and the Sunni sect refuse to be part of any war in Lebanon or the region between Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda,” Hariri, who heads the Future Movement, said in a statement.
“They also reject that civilians in any Lebanese area become a target to this crazy war and its dangerous repercussions on national and Muslim unity.”
The Nusra Front in Lebanon warned Lebanon’s Sunni sect Friday to avoid areas where Hezbollah has a presence or enjoys support . It also called for the support of the sect in its fight against Hezbollah.
Hariri said radical groups of this kind were linked to President Bashar Assad’s regime and aimed at bringing Syria’s war to Lebanon.
“The suspicious calls launched by extremist forces that are clearly linked to the murderous regime in Damascus only aim to transfer the flames to Lebanon, to the benefit of this regime,” Hariri said.
“And in this sense these calls meet with Hezbollah’s war in Syria in defense of the Assad regime,” he added.
“Every reasonable and patriotic Lebanese, of any sect, will refuse to be dragged behind these calls, as he refuses Hezbollah’s war in Syria. And he would confront, by all available peaceful and political means, all crimes against Lebanon, Syria, Arabism, Islam and human rights in our country,” he said.
The Lebanon branch of the Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for several attacks in the country, including Tuesday’s deadly bombing in the Beirut southern suburb of Haret Hreik that killed four people and wounded scores more.
The group, an offshoot of Syria’s Nusra Front that is blacklisted by the U.S. as a terrorist group, has warned of further attacks until Hezbollah withdraws its fighters from Syria.
For his part, MP Hasan Fadlallah, from Hezbollah’s Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc, stressed that his is determined to confront the “terrorism” of radical Islamist groups.
“Just like we confronted the Israeli terrorism in the past ... we continue today to confront with the same determination and same force the terrorism of the takfiris,” said Fadlallah, who spoke in the town of Saddikine in south Lebanon.
“This kind of terrorism will not change our position ... and will not alter our political choices. On the contrary, such takfiri terrorism only makes us more convinced in our options,” he said.
Fadlallah also called for joining political efforts and employing the media and intellectual and cultural means to confront this new wave of terrorism.