January 3, 2012
The US is reportedly planning to establish a buffer zone along Lebanon’s border with Syria in a bid to step up pressure on the Syrian government.
Suleiman Frangieh, head of Lebanese al-Marada movement, said Monday that there is strong evidence suggesting that Washington seeks to establish a buffer zone along Lebanon-Syria border and that the move harms Lebanon’s interests.
He also defended remarks by Lebanese Defense Minister Fayez Ghoson about the unrest in Syria and criticized those saying that attacking the defense minister is an indirect attack on the Lebanese Army.
Lebanese defense minister recently said that members of al-Qaeda terrorist group, fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, have entered Syria via Lebanon.
Head of al-Marada movement also said that Lebanon would continue to support the Syrian government.
“We are with the Syrian regime, but we will not take any act against Lebanon. We don’t raise President (Bashar) al-Assad’s picture, we rather raise our president’s picture. We believe in having a good relation with Syria, but we don’t say that it is our reference. For us, Lebanon’s advantage is a priority, and history will prove that,” Frangieh said.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March and according to the UN, 5,000 people have been killed in the country over the past nine months.
While the West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of the killings, Damascus blames “outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest that erupted in mid-March, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.
Syrian President Assad has repeatedly accused Israel, Turkey and a number of Western countries of fueling unrest in the country by funding and arming government opponents.
In interviews with Israeli news outlets over the past few months, the Syrian opposition members have clearly expressed their vision for the future of Syria and their interest in establishing relations with the Tel Aviv regime.
However, Syrians have repeatedly expressed solidarity with the government. Figures show that during the past weeks, about 12 million people have demonstrated in support of President Assad and his reform program.