Post by Focus on Feb 21, 2013 9:55:48 GMT
A Syrian rebel commander has said on Wednesday that if the Lebanese political party Hezbollah does not cease the shelling of Free Syrian Army-controlled territories in Syria, it will face retaliation. The 48-hour deadline expires on Thursday.
The message came amid several other developments. Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels shot down a Syrian fighter jet, following a government airstrike on a provincial town outside Damascus. Rebel commander General Selim Idriss told the AFP that “Hezbollah is abusing Lebanese sovereignty to shell Syrian territory and FSA positions.” He claims the shelling of villages in Syria’s Homs province is originating from the Bekaa valley in Lebanon, which the Syrian rebels will fire upon once the 48 hours are up. He added that his FSA fighters would bombard Hezbollah from different areas, as they are equipped with long-range weapons.
Idriss went on to say that the FSA appealed to the Lebanese President and PM, but their offices denied having any contact with the Syrian militants.
Lebanon remains split over Syria. Its Sunni-led government identifies with the rebel cause, while Shiite Hezbollah pledges support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, though the party has denied sending fighters onto Syrian soil.
This double opposition is further complicated by Israel’s presence in the region, and its respective campaign against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Earlier on Wednesday, an Israeli drone was reportedly shot down near the Syrian border with Lebanon, according to Syrian news website Damas Post. Syrian forces reportedly shot down the Israeli unmanned aircraft over the Deir al Ashayer village near the Lebanese border. Neither Syrian nor Israeli officials have confirmed the report.
And in addition to this, Syria suspects Israel to be behind a February airstrike on a military facility outside Damascus, which killed two workers and injured five.
The now spilt-over Syrian uprising is reaching its second year, with the UN putting casualties at 70,000 and the number of displaced Syrians at more than 850,000 -- The saying "there may be trouble ahead" comes to mind - Fx