FSA Chief of Staff Gives Lebanon 24-Hour Ultimatum to Stop Hizbullah Intervention in Syria

Free Syrian Army chief of staff Salim Idriss warned on Tuesday that if fighters from Hizbullah do not stop their military intervention in Syria, where they are backing government troops, "we will take all measures to hunt" them, "even in hell."

"If the attacks of Hizbullah against Syrian territory do not stop within 24 hours, we will take all measures to hunt Hizbullah, even in hell," he told Al-Arabiya news channel, addressing President Michel Suleiman, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi and U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon.

"I will no longer be bound by any commitments I made, if a decision to stop the attacks... is not taken and implemented," said Idriss, who heads the supreme military council of the Free Syrian Army.

"I can no longer restrain the fighters" of the FSA, he added without saying what concrete action they might take.

"We are being subjected to a genocide conducted by Hizbullah," charged Idriss.

"I hope that everyone will excuse the Free (Syrian) Army" for retaliating, he said.

Four people were wounded on Sunday morning in a rocket attack on Beirut's southern suburbs, a Hizbullah stronghold.

FSA's Central Media Department head Fahd al-Masri condemned the attack “in the strongest terms,” disavowing an earlier threat by FSA secretary Ammar al-Wawi that the “fire raging in Syria will spread into Lebanon.”

“Should the Lebanese government fail to stop Hizbullah, there will be repercussions against Beirut, Tripoli and the Rafik Hariri International Airport,” Wawi said. But Masri said he will ask Wawi to withdraw his statement, “because we have nothing to do at all with the launching of the rockets.”

One person was killed and several others were wounded in rockets attacks from Syria on Monday and Tuesday on the Lebanese border region of Hermel.

The military support of Hizbullah has helped Syrian regime forces gain the upper hand in the battle for control of Qusayr, a key town for both the regime and the insurgents, where an army assault began ten days ago.

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah had previously justified the group's involvement in Syria by saying they were defending Lebanese-inhabited border villages inside Syria and Shiite holy sites.

But the offensive on the mostly-Sunni town of Qusayr forced the movement to change its argument.

"Syria is the rear guard of the resistance (Hizbullah's fight with Israel), its backbone, and the resistance cannot stay with its arms folded when its rear guard is exposed," Nasrallah said on Saturday in a speech for the 13th anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon.

"We are idiots if we do not act," he added.

Nasrallah stressed that Hizbullah will win the battle against the “United States, Israel and the Takfiris just like it emerged victorious in previous wars.”

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