Saniora Says Syria 'Threat' Totally Rejected, Asks Govt. to Prevent Attacks from Lebanonإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Head of al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc ex-PM Fouad Saniora on Friday strongly condemned Damascus' “threat” to bomb what it called “terrorist gangs” operating in Lebanese territory, urging the government to inform the Arab League and the U.N. of the warning.
“We have already reiterated several times our firm rejection of turning Lebanon and the Lebanese border into a place and launchpad for interfering in the Syrian affairs, while expressing our solidarity with the goals of the Syrian revolution and offering political and media support,” Saniora said in a statement.
The ex-PM called on the Lebanese government to provide “clear and frank answers to the Syrian accusations and to act quickly and at all levels to take the security and military measures to protect the border and Lebanon's northern and eastern regions from attacks, which seem to be already decided.”
Saniora also urged Lebanese authorities to “prevent gunmen, to whichever side they belong, from using Lebanese territory as a launchpad for military operations” against Syrian forces through “deploying the army on the border and preventing violations.”
The former prime minister described the threat issued by Syria's foreign ministry as “unacceptable and totally rejected, as it signals that the attack on Lebanon has already been decided, given the several escalatory and intimidating stances issued over the past two days by Syrian figures and pro-Syria Lebanese figures.”
Syria on Thursday warned that its forces would fire into Lebanon if "terrorist gangs" continued to infiltrate the country, in a letter of protest to Lebanon.
Saniora cautioned against “any attack on Lebanese territory,” saying “it would have uncalculated consequences amid these circumstances.”
“It the Lebanese government's duty to immediately inform the Arab League's secretary-general and ask him to convey the message to the brotherly Arab nations, in addition to informing the U.N.'s secretary-general of the possible dangers that the Syrian threats might lead to,” Saniora added.
“Is there someone seeking to blow up the situations in Lebanon on the eve of the Arab summit that will be held in Doha, in order to divert attention from the crimes of the Syrian regime ... and to focus the attention on Lebanon after executing the threats and the already decided Syrian attacks?” Saniora warned.
The U.N. Security Council expressed "grave concern" Thursday over cross-border attacks between Syria and Lebanon in a rare united declaration on the Syrian conflict.
Council members "underscored their grave concern over repeated incidents of cross-border fire which caused death and injury among the Lebanese population, incursions, abductions and arms trafficking across the Lebanese-Syrian border, as well as other border violations."
Earlier, the Syrian foreign ministry said "these past 36 hours, armed terrorist gangs have infiltrated Syrian territory in large numbers from Lebanon."
"Syrian forces are showing restraint by not striking these gangs inside Lebanese territory to prevent them from crossing into Syria, but this will not go on indefinitely," it said, urging Lebanon to take action.
Earlier on Thursday, Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali announced that Syria had submitted the letter of protest to Lebanese authorities, complaining against “violations of the neighboring country's territory on the border.”