Mansour Shrugs off Criticism, Says Syrian Gunfire on North not Premeditated
Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour shrugged off criticism over Lebanon’s failure to file a complaint with the U.N. on the latest deaths of Lebanese in a cross-border attack in the northern area of Wadi Khaled, saying the Syrian shelling was not intentional.
In remarks to al-Joumhouria daily published Monday and Tele Liban the day before, Mansour expressed regret at the death of two Lebanese in the shelling that took place over the weekend but said “such clashes do take place on the border of any country due to unintentional mistakes.”
“We will continue our contacts through diplomatic channels to avoid such mistakes in the future although the Syrians don’t want them to take place,” he said.
Heavy shelling from the Syrian side of the border on towns in the Wadi Khaled area during clashes between Syrian government troops and rebels, left two Lebanese dead and stirred panic among residents and criticism that the government was staying mum on the issue.
“Had it been premeditated, we would have taken a different approach,” Mansour said.
But a government source expressed regret at his remarks, telling An Nahar newspaper that the government will take the necessary measures to preserve the safety of the Lebanese on the border with Syria in the North and East.
Mansour also justified a Lebanese complaint to the U.N. Security Council on Israel’s abduction of a shepherd ten days ago, by saying “the Jewish state is Lebanon’s historic enemy and carried out an aforethought attack.”
“The latest aggression comes as part of a series of continued attacks committed (by Israel) since the adoption of (Security Council) resolution 1701 (in 2006), and which have reached so far 9,000 violations,” Mansour said.
Israeli soldiers detained the young Lebanese shepherd for one day in a disputed area on the border between the two countries.