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Regime Official Threatens to ‘Punish’ Returning Syrians | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Pro-Syrian regime forces in Deir al-Zour. (Getty Images)

Moscow, London, Beirut – A member of the Syrian regime threatened on Monday to “hold accountable” any displaced Syrian, who returns to their homeland.

Issam Zaherddine, commander of the Republican Guard of the Syrian regime in Deir al-Zour, said: “I hope that whoever fled Syria to another country would not return.”

“We vow not to forgive or to forget. My advice, no one should come back,” he told official state television.

Meanwhile, a commander in Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” declared in a televised appearance that the end of the blockade against Deir al-Zour was achieved through Russian and Iranian support, as well as the backing of “foreign fighters,” regime forces and “Hezbollah.”

Abou Mustafa’s appearance marked the first for a party member in Syria, which is seen as a change in “Hezbollah’s” media policy.

The group had never revealed the identity of any of its military commander since its formation in the 1980s. It usually reveals the names of commanders after their death.

Abou Mustafa, the “Hezbollah” field commander in Deir al-Zour, did not appear on the group’s al-Manar television, but on the al-Mayadeen satellite channel, which is close to the party.

He explained that he was able to appear on television through the approval of party chief Hassan Nasrallah.

“The victory in Deir al-Zour would not have been possible without the Russian-Iranian-Syrian alliance,” he told al-Mayadeen.

“Hezbollah,” he added, “is an integral part of an axis that extends from Iran to Iraq to Damascus, then Beirut and the Palestinian territories.”