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Lebanese Politicians Now Openly Demanding Hezbollah Disentangle From Syrian Conflict

Open and even virulent criticism of Hezbollah for providing critical assistance to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime has become a mainstay [1] of Arab discourse. Now that sentiment is taking hold in the group’s home country of Lebanon.

Former Lebanese president and current Phalangist leader Amin Gemayal called this week [2] for Hezbollah to exit Syria and work with other Lebanese parties to form a new government:

Urging Hezbollah to abide by the Baabda declaration, Gemayel said: “We are all in the same boat. We have to overcome selfishness. I hope that Hezbollah abides by the Baabda declaration and cooperate to save Lebanon,” he said. Gemayel voiced fears of the “difficult circumstances facing the country”, adding:” Most of the state institutions are obstructed and we hope to offer solutions for that.” Gemayel expressed his readiness to exert all efforts needed to help line-up a new cabinet

The Baabda declaration is a 2012 agreement calling on Lebanese factions to avoid intervening in regional conflicts, lest the violence rebound into Lebanon. Hezbollah’s participation in the Syrian war is seen as a violation of the agreement. Both the Syrian regime [3] and the rebels [4] have in recent months mounted attacks on Lebanese soil.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman echoed [5] Gemayel’s call, as did [6] Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt :

Jumblatt also criticized Hezbollah’s military intervention in Syria in support of President Bashar Assad. “I advise [Hezbollah leader] Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah to withdraw from Syria because the countdown to the Syrian regime [collapse] has begun,” Jumblatt said. He pointed to the changes on the battlefield in Syria, citing the rebels’ takeover of a strategic airport in Aleppo Tuesday and the recent captured of an arms and ammunition dump in the Qalamun area near Damascus from Syrian government troops.

[Photo: KataebTV / YouTube [7]]