First Published: 2013-01-03


Nasrallah warns against Syria partition


Hezbollah chief accuses Western, Arab governments which have recognised armed opposition of being responsible for flood of Syrian refugees into Lebanon.


Middle East Online

Syria is threatened with ‘schemes of division and partition’

BEIRUT - War-torn Syria is threatened with "schemes of division and partition", the head of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement, Hassan Nasrallah, said in a televised speech on Thursday.

"We fundamentally and ideologically reject any form of partition or division of any Arab or Islamic country and call for them to preserve their unity," said Nasrallah, whose Shiite militant group is a longstanding ally of the Damascus government of President Bashar al-Assad.

"From Yemen to Iraq to Syria, the region is threatened more than ever by partition, even in Egypt and Libya and Saudi Arabia.

"We in Lebanon and in the region are living through one of the most important and dangerous phases, an atmosphere of strife."

Nasrallah said that Western and Arab governments which have recognised the armed opposition were responsible for the flood of Syrian refugees into Lebanon, who now number more than 125,000, according to the United Nations.

"The people who bear responsibility for the continuation of their displacement are the same ones responsible for the bloodshed that is inhibiting Syrians from reaching a political dialogue or settlement," he said.

"If a military solution continues, there will be a long war," he warned, calling on the Lebanese government to take a stand.

"Lebanon cannot bear the social, humanitarian and political costs" of inaction, he said.

Nasrallah called on the government to dispatch an envoy to Turkey to open direct negotiations with the kidnappers of Lebanese hostages held in Syria.

"Right now we are speaking with the Turks and this will not yield the same results," he said.

A group of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims were kidnapped on May 22 in the northern province of Aleppo, while on their way from Iran. Only two of them have been released.

Several Lebanese leaders have travelled to Ankara to ask the Turkish authorities to intervene with the captors.


Tunisia under state of emergency

Turkey downs Russia Su-24 fighter jet on Syria border

Lavrov says no war with Turkey after 'planned provocation'

Brussels extends terror alert as US issues worldwide travel warning

Somali pirates seize Iran fishing boat with 15 crew

Missing Iranian diplomat found dead in Saudi

Heavy Russia raids at site of Syria plane crash

Tunisia declares state of emergency after terrorist attack in heart of capital

Bahrain calls HRW torture report 'misleading'

Syria, Russia foreign ministers set Moscow talks

Rival Libya tribes sign peace deal to end months of fighting

Turkey reveals new cabinet of Erdogan allies

Hopes fade away as Sudan peace talks break without deal

At least 6 dead in Libya bomb attack

ISIS suicide bombers kill four in assault on Sinai hotel

Kerry visits Israel with scant hopes for major breakthrough

Hollande heads to Washington to seek support for war on ISIS

UAE blames Islamists for delay in military operation in Taez

Egypt kills 5 Sudanese migrants near border with Israel

Anti-Muslim hate crimes rise 300 percent in Britain

Russia eases restrictions on nuclear cooperation with Iran

Gulf leaders to hold annual summit on December 10

Ex-Gathafi Minister arrested over murder of UK policewoman

UK boosts military spending as pressure grows to join anti-ISIS strikes

Israel bars Palestinians from West Bank settlement bloc

Iraq suspends northern flights due to danger posed by Russia missiles

Syria army advances against ISIS in central province of Homs

Pro-Kurdish leader escapes assassination attempt in Turkey

Tunisia group claims beheading of young shepherd on behalf of ISIS

Kerry arrives in Abu Dhabi for Syria discussions

Three Palestinians killed as fresh violence hits West Bank

Iran arrests ISIS-linked cell near Iraq border

Brussels remains on high alert for second day in a row

Israel seeks to strip citizenship of those who join ISIS

France warns Libya as ISIS gains ground

Fear escalates as ISIS edges closer to Syria Christian town

Iran sentences reporter Jason Rezaian to prison

Egyptians vote in second phase of parliamentary elections

Assad grateful to Russia as army advances on ‘nearly every front’

Obama calls for resolve in face of terrorist threats

Russia bombs ISIS in heaviest strikes since beginning of Syria war

ISIS claims deadly attack on Iraq Shiite mosque

Iran Revolutionary Guard simulate capture of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Turkey-backed Syria rebels seize two border villages from ISIS

Israel shuts down second Palestinian radio station