Lebanon News

Lebanese PM dismisses Syria rebel arrest warrants: source

Prime Minister Najib Mikati speaks during an interview with The Daily Star at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Monday, July 2, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Prime Minister Najib Mikati has dismissed an announcement from the Free Syrian Army of arrest warrants against him and two of his relatives should they enter Syria, a source close to the head of the Lebanese Cabinet said Thursday.

“These [threats] aren’t even worth a response because they come within the framework of well-known media and political campaigns,” the source told The Daily Star.

The Free Syrian Army said Wednesday it had issued arrest warrants against Mikati and two of his relatives over what it claimed was a Lebanese government decision allowing Syrian tanker trucks to fill up with fuel in Lebanon.

“The Revolutionary Justice [Council] issued this morning [Wednesday] arrest warrants against Prime Minister Najib Mikati, his brother Taha, and his nephew,” Free Syrian Army spokesman Louai Meqdad told the local television channel MTV late Wednesday.

He said the move came after a “dangerous” Lebanese Cabinet decision allowing Syrian President Bashar Assad “to dispatch tanker trucks to Lebanon to stock up on fuel supplies to be used by tanks that are killing Syrian children.”

“In case Mr. Mikati, his brother Taha, or nephew Azmi entered liberated or non-liberated Syrian territories, they will be arrested and handed over to the Revolutionary Justice [Council],” Meqdad warned.

Protesters in the north of Lebanon blocked roads in two border towns Wednesday, preventing tanker trucks from transporting diesel into Syria. The protesters claimed that the diesel was being used by the government in Damascus in its crackdown on those revolting against Assad.

The protest came a day after Lebanon’s Energy and Water Ministry dismissed reports of fuel smuggling into Syria as “fabrications for purely political objectives,” amid concerns by local traders of Lebanon becoming entangled by international sanctions against Syria.

Meqdad said the Revolutionary Justice Council had assigned the FSA with the role of carrying out the arrest warrants.

He also said the Revolutionary Justice Council had tasked Aleppo’s Inspection Authority with conducting an inventory of Mikati’s assets in Syria as well as those of his brother and nephew “as a prelude to the seizing of these properties.”





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