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Lebanese Forces Leader: Opening Lebanese Border Is not Anyone’s Choice - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Beirut – Secretary-General of Lebanese Hezbollah Hasan Nasrallah made recent statements hinting towards opening borders for foreign fighters in case of new war with Israel. These statements were a blatant defiance for the Lebanese government risking transforming Lebanon into a war zone similar to the case of Syria.

Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea condemned Nasrallah’s remarks reiterating that opening the Lebanese border is not up to anyone.

“It is not up to anybody to open Lebanese borders, even the Lebanese Cabinet,” he said.

Geagea questioned “if we want to defend our country in case of an Israeli aggression, do we open the border and recruit thousands of strangers as fighters, from unknown whereabouts, for them to occupy the country?

“In case of an Israeli aggression against Lebanon, it is clearly logical for the Lebanese Army to face it aided with the other Lebanese armed forces and backed by the Lebanese people,” Geagea stated.

On Friday on the occasion of al-Quds Day, Nasrallah warned Israel against attacking Lebanon or Syria, saying “hundreds of thousands” of Arab and Muslim fighters would be ready to strike back.

“I’m not saying countries would intervene directly, but it would open the door for hundreds of thousands of fighters from all around the Arab and Islamic world to participate in this fight, from Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan,” Nasrallah said.

Director of Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs (LISA) Sami Nader said that Iran is trying to expand its presence in response to the US-Russian agreement spoken about in Syria. He stated that since the Syrian crisis, Iran is trying to infiltrate into Golan Heights and enforce Israel into clashes.

Nader stressed that violating UN Resolution 1701 will cost Lebanon highly, and that is why Hezbollah is trying to enforce a new plan against Israel over the Syrian border.

The director believes that Iran is ready to go into war until the last Arab citizen, especially that it managed to reach to Syrian-Iraqi border through the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

He added that engaging in a war with Israel in the Golan will grant Tehran leverage in the regional game.

Director of Umam Center for Documentation and Research Luqman Salim ruled out the possibility of a war between Iran and Hezbollah against Israel. He pointed out that both parties are just “flexing their deterrent muscles”, but a war now is not within the best interest of either of them.

Regarding Nasrallah’s threats, Salim stated that this is a dangerous issue which indicates that according to Nasrallah, Lebanon is just a battlefield for wars in the name of Iran. He believes that the most dangerous thing is that Hezbollah’s leader doesn’t believe he has partners in Lebanon.

“What Nasrallah said is a slap on the face of all of those who convened in Baadba Palace,” Salim said.