Eid Accuses Mustaqbal of Smuggling Arms to Syria, Inciting Tripoli Residents to Attack Jabal Mohsenإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Arab Democratic Party political relations official Rifaat Ali Eid accused on Tuesday the Free Syrian Army of being involved in the latest round of clashes in the northern city of Tripoli, while adding that the Mustaqbal Movement has also been smuggling arms to Syria.
He said during a press conference: “The Mustaqbal Movement has been inciting the residents of Tripoli to attack the Jabal Mohsen neighborhood.”
In addition, he revealed that arms shipments from the movement had been arriving through Tripoli's port in order to be smuggled to Syria.
“We have been purchasing what we can of these shipments,” he said.
“The Mustaqbal Movement no longer has control of the fighters in the city as they are now all being controlled by the Free Syrian Army,” Eid continued.
“All sorts of weapons had been smuggled from Syria to Lebanon recently. We were therefore forced to wage a two-hour battle with the fighters in order to demonstrate to them who they were dealing with and I think that they understood our message,” he added.
The battle led to the deployment of the Lebanese army in the Bab al-Tabbaneh neighborhood, he said.
The army has long been deployed in the Jabal Mohsen area, he noted.
The latest round of fighting between the rival Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen neighborhoods erupted in light of the news of the death of a number of Lebanese fighters in the Syrian border town of Tall Kalakh.
The fighters, who hail mainly from he North, were killed in an ambush set up by Syrian regime forces on November 30.
On the incident, Eid declared: “We were the first to demand that the corpses of the victims be returned to Lebanon.”
Three of the corpses were returned to their loved ones on Sunday.
“We have no problems with the residents of Bab al-Tabbaneh, but we take issue with the officials who held talks with the residents. The blood of the dead of Tall Kalakh and Tripoli is on their hands,” he stated.
Addressing Mustaqbal Movement leader former PM Saad Hariri, he said: “Any plans you have for Jabal Mohsen will fail and we will not be dragged to strife.”
“All that Hariri gained in the latest round of violence is the death of 17 innocent people in Syria and another 17 innocent people in Lebanon,” he said.
Eid noted that the situation in Lebanon spiraled out of control after the assassination of Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau head Brigadier General Wissam al-Hasan on October 19.
“Why should we pay the price of the deaths of Tall Kalakh? Why should we pay the price of Hasan's assassination? They should take their case to Hariri,” he stressed.
On the possibility of Jabal Mohsen fighters handing over their weapons, he said: “We are willing to hand them over in exchange for guarantees.”
“We will not agree to any reconciliation that does not guarantee the Alawites all of their rights,” he remarked.
“If some sides believe that Alawites are a source of trouble in Lebanon, then we demand that an Alawite be represented at cabinet and the national dialogue. I am a Lebanese citizen and I pay my dues to it and it should repay me,” he suggested.
Eid also urged the government to provide the residents of Tripoli with compensations for the losses they incurred in the latest round of fighting.