Jumblat Appeals for Preserving Stability over IS Fears

Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat has called for preserving internal stability as the Islamic State extremist group continued to make more gains inside Syria.

The western city of Palmyra, home to a set of historic Roman-era ruins, was captured by the IS last week.

“After the IS reached Palmyra – and it could even expand more than that – the national priority is to preserve the government and stability,” Jumblat told As Safir daily published on Wednesday.

“This priority should overcome all differences,” he said.

Asked whether he backed calls for the army to lead a campaign against jihadists on the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal, Jumblat said: “The government decides” such issues.

Hizbullah openly joined Syrian President Bashar Assad forces in the civil war in 2013 and its fighters have been taking part in a major battle in recent weeks against jihadists from the IS and al-Nusra Front in the Qalamoun mountain region that borders Lebanon.

On Sunday, Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah vowed his fighters will expand their involvement in Syria's war in support of government forces.

But the Lebanese army has been only stopping infiltrations of jihadists into eastern border towns and on several occasions has clashed with them inside Lebanese territories.



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