BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri slammed Monday the Lebanese state and officials for ignoring Hezbollah’s reportedly growing involvement in the conflict in neighboring Syria and warned that the resistance group wanted to lead the country into an “abyss.”
“The peak of tragedy in the crime committed by Hezbollah is the fact that there are none in the Lebanese state who regard themselves responsible for the border [with Syria] or for the daily violations by hundreds of fighters who have chosen to usurp the role of the state and ignore the wishes of the Lebanese people,” Hariri said, according to a statement from his office.
“Where is the president on all of this? Where is the caretaker government and its prime minister? Where is Parliament and the parliamentary blocs? Where is the [Lebanese] Army command and all the security apparatuses?” he asked.
“Is there a decision to hand over the state and its security and constitutional institutions to Hezbollah? Is there an acknowledgment by the state and its institutions that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is above the state and its institutions?” he added.
Over the weekend, Syrian troops backed by Hezbollah fighters reportedly advanced into the Syrian town of Qusair, a strategic city near the Lebanese border. Reports Monday said Hezbollah fighters had been killed as a result of the clashes in Qusair.
Hezbollah, Assad’s primary ally in Lebanon, has admitted sending fighters to Syrian border villages where there are Lebanese populations. The resistance group denies fighting alongside forces loyal to Assad and says its activities are aimed at training residents fend against rebel assaults.
Hariri likened Hezbollah’s actions in Syria to Israeli assaults on Lebanon and slammed the lack of “national, constitutional, and moral responsibility toward the crime being committed by a major Lebanese faction through meddling in the internal Syrian war.”
“Hezbollah chose to clone the Israeli crimes committed against the people of Lebanon and apply them against the people in the Syrian town of Qusair and the villages near Homs,” Hariri said.
He also said “the party’s presence in Qusair is part of a decision to eliminate the Lebanese state or at best a clear declaration by the party that the state can be controlled through bullying by those who have weapons.
“This is the ugly truth, no matter how they try to conceal it,” he added.
“We are seeking responsible individuals who can stage the parliamentary elections, while Hezbollah is seeking all the means to lead Lebanon into the abyss."