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Hezbollah says won’t let U.S., Israel gain control of Syria
A Hezbollah flag flutters during a ceremony in southern Lebanon. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari, File)
A Hezbollah flag flutters during a ceremony in southern Lebanon. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari, File)
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BEIRUT: Hezbollah stands ready to defend Syria against U.S. and Israeli designs to control the Arab state and views its involvement in the crisis in Lebanon’s neighbor as “political and strategic,” a Hezbollah official said Saturday.

“Hezbollah is ready to prevent Syria falling under the control of Tel Aviv and Washington,” said Ibrahim Amin Sayyed, a Hezbollah official, during a ceremony held in Baalbek in memory of one the party’s “martyrs.”

“This is a strategy and not an intervention in the Syria crisis. It is an intervention in the conflict against America and Israel,” he added.

Sayyed reiterated his party’s line that Hezbollah’s presence on Syrian territory was aimed at “defending the Lebanese in [the border town of] Qusair and the Muslim religious sites.”

Earlier this week, Hezbollah cheif Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said his fighters were defending Lebanese in Syrian border villages against rebel attacks and hinted that Iran, Russia and “resistance groups” would step in military to prevent the fall of President Bashar Assad.

Ibrahim Amin Sayyed described Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria as “political and strategic” and denied the resistance group was working against the demands of the Syrian people.

“We are present in Syria at the political and the strategic levels and for the defense of the great cause [Palestine]. We have nothing to do with what the Syrian people want,” he said.

“On the contrary, we support the people in their demands to reach a situation that preserves their dignity and freedom and ensures their participation in political life,” he added.

Nasrallah’s comments Tuesday drew wide condemnation from Lebanon’s opposition and Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt, who accused the Hezbollah leader of trying to drag Lebanon into the conflict across the border.

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