Hezbollah calls on Hariri-led group to stop backing takfiris in Syria

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Sheikh Naim Qassem, Hezbollah’s deputy leader
Sheikh Naim Qassem, Hezbollah’s deputy leader

Hezbollah is going to continue its fight against Takfiri radicals in Syria war, calling on March 14 coalition to stop supporting the extremist groups, a top figure in the Lebanese resistance group has said.

We will continue our work and remain in the field committed to our political stances. We will remain fighting where we are fighting. We are a resistance wherever we are: a resistance against Israel and its agents and a resistance fighting in Syria in defense of the resistance,” Sheikh Naim Qassem, Hezbollah’s second in command, said during a ceremony in the Beirut suburb of Ouzai.

“Our heads will remain raised high, as we combat the takfiris and those behind them. We will be victorious in the end, wait and see,” he said.

Several extremist groups have been targeting Hezbollah in Beirut and the northeast of the country for its resistance against them.

In May 2013, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah acknowledged that his fighters were engaged in the Syrian war to protect Lebanon borders which were used by extremist groups to target Syria.

The Hezbollah leader said the aim was to preempt the rise of “Western-backed takfiri forces” which threatened Lebanon.

During his speech, Qassem said suicide bombers were targeting two sides: “The resistance’s environment with its children, men, women and neighborhoods, and the Lebanese Army, which is confronting their project.”

“This war they are waging against us requires sacrifices and we are working with all our might to lessen its repercussions and pains. In this war, there will be sacrifices but we should not be afraid to make them,” he said.

The Hezbollah official appealed to his party’s supporters whose livelihoods have been hit hard by the recurrent car bombings to remain firm in the face of the extremists’ threat.

“If we show steadfastness, persistence and unity, we will be victorious in the end,” he said.

“Do not panic or be frightened of them or they will win,” he said. “If they travel the earth and back, they will never be the ones who grant us life or death … trust in God and let’s remain in the field and we will win, God willing.”

Qassem further criticized supporters of the extremists groups, saying that, “I wonder who brought them into Syria from 80 different countries and who brought them to Iraq to kill innocent people. Who sponsored Fatah al-Islam in Nahr Al-Bared refugee camp and in Dinnieh? They were already here”.

He described the “takfiri project” as transient and said infighting between the radical groups in Syria reflected a general pattern of behavior.

While Qassem reiterated Hezbollah had been the last party to intervene in Syria, he strongly criticized the March 14 coalition of harboring takfiri groups and urged them to desist.

“I wonder about this contradiction by those who oppose us. They support the takfiri criminals with all their atrocities in Syria but they claim to support the Syrian people. But these takfiris are killing the Syrian people,” he said.

“They defend those the Lebanese Army apprehends for transporting explosives and suicide bombers … without considering the feelings of those who were targeted by the bombings,” he said.

“They obstruct the work of security agencies and claim to support the state. They condemn the bombings and justify [the attacks, arguing they] are a result of a behavior,” Qassem added.

The March 14 camp, which has been a supporter of the insurgency in Syria, has blamed Hezbollah for the deadly attacks in the country.

“We ask March 14 group not to provide cover for the takfirirs or a secure environment or justify their acts,” Qassem said.

“We ask them to stop targeting the resistance, giving Israel a free service … We ask them to return to the state and stop disrupting its institutions,” he said.

The March 14 Alliance is a coalition of political parties and independents in Lebanon formed in 2005 that are united by their anti-Syria stance, led by Lebanese Parliament Member Saad al-Hariri, younger son of Rafik Hariri, the assassinated former prime minister of Lebanon.

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