BEIRUT: Hezbollah official Sheikh Naim Qassem Tuesday accused the U.S. of sponsoring the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, which he said was aimed at dividing the region, saying Washington would be the first to pay the price.
"ISIS is an American trademark adopted and sponsored by America and oil and its first mission is to divide the region and drown it in sectarian war and chaos,” Qassem said after meeting with former MP Mustafa Hussein.
“Whoever believes that they can take advantage of [ISIS] as they please are mistaken and ISIS operators will be the first to pay the price.”
Qassem, the deputy general secretary of the party, said the only solution lied in encouraging Muslim and national parties to cooperate and safeguard Lebanon from the takfiri threat.
“It is when we restrict the movements of ISIS that we can protect Lebanon from its designs and dangers.”
He also addressed Hezbollah’s rivals who argued ISIS attacks in Lebanon were in retaliation to the party’s involvement in Syria.
“Takfiris need no excuses to carry out terrorist attacks in Lebanon. They did not need excuses in Nahr al-Bared, Tripoli, Dennieh, Syria and Iraq. They are the people of an elimination project, they eliminate those who differ from them by beheading them, forcing them to migrate or imposing their beliefs.”
He also commended the Lebanese Army and security forces for their efforts in “serving a blow to takfiri terrorism,” saying cooperation among security agencies as well as the political atmosphere has helped to protect the country.
The official also noted that such a unified political stance against takfiris came about when political parties recognized that everyone was a target.
“Despite all of that, some still try to attack the resistance but at the same time realize their time is coming and ISIS will target them,” Qassem said.
“We call on people to wisely observe the situation in Iraq and what ISIS aims for in the region so that some do not make the same mistakes when they rushed to support a side that sought Syria’s destruction. That project failed and backfired.”