BEIRUT: MP Walid Jumblatt hailed Monday the leader of the Future Movement for warning against attempts at dragging Lebanon’s Sunni sect into conflicts between Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda.
“I salute [Former Prime Minister] Saad Hariri for his recent stance opposing dragging Sunnis into the conflict between Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda,” he said in his weekly article posted on Al-Anbaa website.
“[Hariri’s stance] reflects his rationality and sense of national responsibility, especially at this critical regional and domestic [stage], where there are no political and security constraints and the terrorist bombings that claim innocent civilians in the country persist,” he said.
Hariri’s warning Saturday came in response to a statement by the Nusra Front in Lebanon, a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda which has claimed several bombings in Lebanon.
The militant group, which has threatened further attacks, warned Lebanon’s Sunnis Friday to avoid Hezbollah “areas” in the country and urged the sect to support it in its battle against Hezbollah.
Jumblatt also criticized a recent protest by Muslim scholars outside Lebanon’s Defense Ministry during which they called for the release of a Sunni preacher detained last week for alleged involvement in recent bombings in the country.
“How more important is this stance [by Hariri] that calls for calm when compared to the sit-ins outside the Defense Ministry calling for the release of a detainee still being interrogated,” Jumblatt said.
During the protest outside the Defense Ministry, more than a dozen Muslim scholars accused the Army of arresting Sheikh Omar Atrash on false accusations, claiming that the preacher had merely been helping Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Atrash, who hails from the Bekaa Valley in east Lebanon, is accused by Army Intelligence of smuggling terrorists, rigged cars and belts of explosives through the border town of Arsal to Beirut. His alleged smuggling activities are believed to be linked to several attacks in the country.