BEIRUT: Lebanon is not part of an alliance that includes states who support "takfiri terrorism," Deputy Head of Hezbollah's executive council Sheikh Nabil Qaouk said.
"The best means to fight takfiri terrorism is to end the Saudi backing of terror groups in Syria, Iraq and Yemen," he said during a Hezbollah ceremony the town of Zawtar Sharqieh in the southern district of Nabatieh late Friday.
He blasted Saudi Arabia' alleged support of the groups, emphasizing that "once it (Saudi Arabia) decides to stop supporting the various gangs, there will be no need to establish an Islamic or Arab coalition to confront the takfiri threats."
Saudi Arabia Tuesday announced the formation of a 34-nation Arab and Islamic anti-terror coalition that includes Lebanon, with a joint operations center based in the kingdom’s capital, Riyadh, outraging Hezbollah.
"The Lebanon that conquered the takfiri and Israeli aggression is not part of an alliance that includes countries that back takfiri terrorism," Qaouk said.
"Lebanon is in one trench with the army, people and resistance as it faces its enemies and it's a shame that a coalition that carries the name of Arabism and Islam doesn't hold fighting Israel as a priority."
Qaouk added that Hezbollah prioritizes fighting both "takfiri and Israeli terrorism" with the aim of averting "any present and future threats" to Lebanon.
Friday Saudi envoy in Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri and the Future Movement lashed out at Hezbollah’s criticism of a Saudi-led Islamic military coalition to fight terrorism, saying the party misunderstood the alliance’s goals.
His remarks came one day after Hezbollah outright rejected Lebanon's membership to the anti-terror coalition, which it accused of being an “American project.” Hezbollah said the “suspicious” alliance aims to bring certain armed forces into the region under sectarian pretenses so that the U.S. would not have to send troops.