BEIRUT: Former Secretary-General of Hezbollah Sheikh Sobhi Toufaili has blasted the Shiite party’s military role in Syria, blaming it for deepening Shiite-Sunni tension in Lebanon and across the Middle East.
In an interview published Friday in Saudi daily Al-Yaum, Toufaili charged that Hezbollah was turned into a killing machine as fanatic and radical as the Islamic State for Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), which is accused of committing atrocities in Syria’s raging civil war.
“We are sorry to say that Hezbollah has been tuned into a sectarian party and a killing machine, as bad as takfiri groups, at the hands of the Iranians,” Toufaili said.
He charged that Hezbollah’s battle was directed against Muslims for the sake of defending “the regimes of corruption and tyranny,” in reference to Syria and Iran.
“Hezbollah’s involvement in the fighting in Syria against Syrian children and people is a main factor in igniting sectarian hostilities and animosity that only serve the Zionist enemy and its allies,” Toufaili said.
He called for joint Arab efforts to “save the region” from rampant “sectarian madness,” saying “it is our duty to work by all available means and with all possible effort to restore peace in the region.”
He added: “What we need are honest, non-sectarian leaders whose work would be of benefit to all subjects.”
Toufaili was secretary-general of Hezbollah from 1989 until 1991. He was then replaced by Abbas Mussawi, who was killed a year later in an Israeli drone attack on his convoy in south Lebanon.
He broke away from Hezbollah in 1997, establishing the “Revolution of the Hungry” group. He is an outspoken critic of the participation of Hezbollah in the Syrian war.