Qaouq Urges Addressing Refugee Crisis 'Away from Saudi Diktats'
Hizbullah central council official Sheikh Nabil Qaouq on Sunday called for addressing the thorny issue of returning Syrian refugees to their country “with a patriotic approach and away from Saudi diktats.”
“The Syrian refugee crisis is a major crisis that is as big as the country and it is a humanitarian crisis that cannot be ignored,” Qaouq added, lamenting that the crisis is “strangling Lebanon and putting burdens on the security, stability, economy and living conditions of the Lebanese.”
“There are forces abiding by the Saudi veto that rejects any communication with the state in Syria,” the Hizbullah official decried.
Turning to the issue of the presence of the jihadist groups Fateh al-Sham and Islamic State in the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal, Qaouq pointed out that “Lebanon is before a real chance to eradicate takfiri terrorism from Arsal's outskirts.”
“Lebanon is capable of making a new national achievement against the takfiri threat, through cooperation and integration between the Lebanese army and the resistance,” the Hizbullah official added.
He warned that Fateh al-Sham and IS' “continued occupation of Lebanese territory represents a challenge and a violation of Lebanon's entire sovereignty, freedom and dignity, and a continuous and real threat to all Lebanese.”
According to media reports, the “countdown” for Hizbullah's campaign in Arsal's outskirts has started, in the wake of an ultimatum that has been issued by Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
“Hizbullah has finished the necessary preparations for this battle,” al-Joumhouria newspaper has said.
Syrian warplanes have waged intense raids on Arsal's outskirts in recent days.
Jihadists from Fateh al-Sham and the rival Islamic State group are entrenched in mountainous areas in Arsal's outskirts and in other Lebanon-Syria border areas. They overran Arsal in 2014 before being ousted after days of deadly battles with the Lebanese army.