CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt state media have accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of committing “massacres” in Lebanon, lashing out at Damascus in response to the Syrian leader’s recent criticism of Egypt.
In an editorial addressed to the Syrian ambassador in Cairo Wednesday, the Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhuriya said “the Egyptian army has done much to save you over the course of history.
“While your heroic army, protector of the homeland, has a weighty record of Lebanese massacres… and you have killed thousands of your citizens in Hama and Aleppo when they rose up against the regime of father Assad,” it said.
Former president Hafez al-Assad, the father of Bashar, had unleashed a violent suppression of an Islamist uprising in two Syrian towns in the 1980s, killing thousands.
Political tensions between Syria and Egypt began to rise when Assad criticized Arab leaders who had rebuked Hezbollah, the Shiite fundamentalist group which is backed by Damascus and Tehran, during a speech on August 15.
Egypt and Jordan had both criticized Hezbollah’s “adventurism” after the group’s capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12, which sparked a month-long Israeli offensive in Lebanon.