Hizbullah Condemns Sidon Clashes: Army Guarantor for Civil Peace in Lebanonإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Hizbullah slammed on Monday the attack against the army by supporters of Salafist cleric Sheikh Ahmed al-Asir in the southern city of Sidon on Sunday.
Its said in a statement: “The army is the guarantor of civil peace in Lebanon and any attack against it is tantamount to an attack against the entire nation.”
“The attack against the army on Sunday is an attack against all the Lebanese and their security, present, and future,” it declared.
It highlighted the dangerousness of the attack since it targeted a “main state institution that guarantees Lebanon's civil peace.”
The attack should stand as an opportunity for the Lebanese, regardless of their affiliations, to support the army, continued the statement.
Hizbullah also demanded that “all measures be taken to put a complete stop to such assaults against the army and bring the assailants to justice.”
Sixteen soldiers have been killed in the clashes, the army said Monday, in violence tied to rising sectarian tensions fanned by the Syria conflict.
The fighting began on Sunday on the outskirts of Sidon and intensified on Monday.
The security cabinet pledged the military would fight until it "finishes with" al-Asir.
A military judge issued a warrant for the controversial cleric's arrest, a judicial source said.
The violence is among the worst in Lebanon since the start of the Syrian conflict, which has inflamed sectarian tensions in the country, particularly between Shiite supporters of the Damascus regime and Sunni backers of the uprising.