Geagea, Jumblat Slam Attack on 'Christian Presence' in Levant
Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said Monday that “news of attacks on Christians and their churches and monasteries in Syria and Iraq, the last of which at Mosul's Saint Behnam, are heartbreaking” because they seek to “uproot civilizations from their land.”
“The LF, whose name has been associated with confronting tyranny, condemns in the strongest terms the attacks on Christians, wherever they may happen and whichever side they may come from,” Geagea said in a statement.
He urged “those with good intentions who all belong to all religions, especially Muslims, to confront all forms and types of extremism, whether practiced by organizations or regimes.”
Combating terrorism is “the responsibility of everyone, topped by moderate Islam, which reflects the civilized image of Muslims.”
Meanwhile, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat condemned the persecution of Christians in Iraq's Mosul at the hands of ruthless Islamic State jihadists, describing it as a “severe blow to the concept of diversity, pluralism and coexistence consolidated by the Christian presence in the Levant, which must be preserved no matter what.”
The Druze leader underlined the “importance of forming an Iraqi national unity government, in which all political forces would be represented and which would rescue Iraq from fragmentation and partitioning.”
Hundreds of Christians have fled Mosul following an ultimatum from the IS, which is spearheading a militant offensive in vast areas of northern and western Iraq.
Chaldean patriarch Louis Sako said there were still around 35,000 Christians in the city before the IS launched its sweeping offensive on June 9, proclaimed an Islamic “caliphate” straddling Iraqi and Syrian regions, and made Mosul their main Iraqi hub.
He said all had left the city by the time the noon ultimatum expired on Saturday.
Separately, Jumblat warned that “the continuous Israeli massacre against Palestine and the Palestinian people will sooner or later create and aggravate feelings of spite, hatred and anti-Semitism, which the West fears and whose indications have started to surface in some Western countries.”
“Palestine remains the main cause, and any talk of a ceasefire must be part of a comprehensive deal involving the reopening of all Arab and Israel border crossings and ending the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, in addition to the release of tens of thousands of detainees and captives.”
At least 514 Palestinians have been killed and 3,165 wounded since Israel launched a fierce assault on Gaza 14 days ago.