France Warns against Tripoli Clashes, Accuses Assad Regime of Transferring Conflict to Lebanonإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
France accused the Syrian regime on Wednesday of trying to transfer the ongoing civil war in Syria to neighboring countries, particularly to Lebanon.
"We are very concerned about the violent activities taking place in the northern city of Tripoli,” Spokesperson of the French Foreign Ministry Philippe Lalliot expressed.
"It has become clear that (Syrian President) Bashar Assad's regime is trying to expand the crisis in Syria and transfer it to neighboring countries, particularly to Lebanon.”
Lalliot stressed that Lebanon must not be dragged into the Syrian conflict, calling on all political factions to commit to the Baabda Declaration.
In the Baabda Declaration, rival March 8 and 14 alliance leaders have affirmed their commitment to the Taef Accord and agreed to distance Lebanon from the policy of regional and international conflicts.
"We reiterate France's full support to Lebanese authorities, especially to President Michel Suleiman that despite the tough regional conditions, is still bravely determined and committed to this policy of disassociation,” Lalliot stated.
Fierce battles rocked Tripoli in the past few days with the death toll mounting to 12.
The state-run National News Agency reported that 12 people were killed, including two soldiers, and around 130 others wounded in the clashes that erupted over the weekend.
The army has been deployed in the area since the outbreak but has failed to halt the fighting in the town, where clashes have frequently broken out since the March 2011 beginning of the conflict in neighboring Syria.
The largely Sunni city is home to a small community of Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam to which Syrian President Bashar Assad belongs.
Clashes have often pitted residents of the Sunni district of Bab el-Tebbaneh against those from the neighboring Alawite area of Jabal Mohsen.
The latest round began as the Assad regime launched an assault on the rebel stronghold of Qusayr, near the border with Lebanon.