Hariri: Syrian National Coalition Complaint on Army's Arsal Raid Should've Mentioned Captive Troopsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Head of the Mustaqbal Movement MP Saad Hariri criticized on Sunday the Syrian National Coalition's complaint to the United Nations Security Council over the Lebanese army's treatment of Syrian refugees in the northeastern region of Arsal, deeming it as a “misstep” and saying that it disregards the ties between the Lebanese and Syrian people.
He said in a statement: “The Syrian National Coalition has the right to defend the refugees' humanitarian rights … but the interests of the refugees and Syrian revolt also requires them to raise their voice and demand the release of the Lebanese soldiers and policemen abducted by Islamists in August.”
The former premier acknowledged that the Syrian refugees are suffering from oppression and displacement, adding that the Lebanese people have not wavered in supporting the Syrian revolution.
“It pains them to see that some sides among the revolutionaries have chosen the path of terrorism in order to harm Lebanese-Syrian ties, abducted the troops, and threatened civil peace,” he lamented.
“The photographs of the army's raid on Syrian encampments in Arsal were damaging and unacceptable. They should not be repeated or serve as an example of the ties between Lebanese ad Syrians,” he added.
“On the contrary, the images caused incitement that we could do without at this current stage,” Hariri stressed.
“This does not however deny the reality that the Lebanese military is forced to act under the threat of the armed groups that are gambling with the lives of the abducted soldiers and policemen,” he said.
“The gunmen are using the Syrian encampments to pressure the government and Lebanese state to achieve their goals,” explained head of the Mustaqbal Movement.
As much as it is the right of the Syrian National Coalition to defend the rights of the refugees, it should also demand the release of the Lebanese hostages, he continued, while noting that the coalition's complaint did not mention the kidnapping.
This issue should be a fundamental affair in maintaining the rights and protecting the refugees, he stated.
“Our position on the rights of the Syrian people will not waver in the face of a statement here or there,” Hariri emphasized.
“Our position is based on a firm conviction that the hefty prices our Syrian brothers are paying to obtain their freedom should not go to waste. Victory will be achieved no matter how long it takes,” he declared.
The army arrested on Thursday suspected terrorists during raids it carried out on Syrian refugee encampments and residences in Arsal and the northern city of Tripoli.
One assailant was killed and several others were injured when the army opened fire on them in Arsal for setting fire to tents in refugee encampments, said the army.
The military arrested scores of Syrians and Lebanese, including four gunmen belonging to al-Nusra Front.
A high-ranking source told al-Mustaqbal daily Sunday that the Syrian National Coalition submitted a complaint to the U.N. Security Council over the “Lebanese army's violations of human rights of the refugees during the Arsal raid.”
“It requested that it study the possibility of sending monitors to the encampments in Lebanon,” he revealed.
Arsal has been the battlefront of the Lebanese army in its fight with jihadists since they crossed the border from Syria and overran the town in early August. The militants from al-Nusra Front and the IS kidnapped troops during their withdrawal.
Several soldiers and policemen remain in captivity while three have been executed.