Lebanese Youth Sign Up for 'Jihad' Against Hizbullah
Lebanese youth from the city of Saida, south of Beirut, began on Wednesday to sign up for “armed Jihad in Syria”, Al Arabiya reported.
The youth were responding to a call a day earlier by Sunni cleric Ahmad Assir, who called on Lebanese youth to fight the Hizbullah terrorist group.
Individuals in charge of enlisting the youth told Al Arabiya that “hundreds” have signed up so far and that the number is expected to reach thousands.
On Tuesday, Sheikh Assir lashed out at Hizbullah for helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces fight the predominately Sunni opposition in the country.
Sheikh Assir had announced the formation of “Free Resistance Brigades” to go fight Hizbullah in Syria.
In an interview with Al Arabiya, Assir said his call came in response to “Hizbullah’s continued role in the persecution of Sunni Muslims in Syria.”
He said it was a “a religious duty” for his Sunni followers to join the fight against Hizbullah and the Syrian regime.
Assir slammed the Lebanese government for not being able to prevent Hizbullah from interfering in Syria.
Reports in a Saudi daily last week indicated that over 1,000 Hizbullah members had entered Syria over a period of a few days via waterways in the Mediterranean Sea.
The daily quoted sources as having said that the regime in Damascus "is resorting to the aid of fighters from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, which implies that the Syrian recruits' desire to fight alongside the regime is decreasing."
Several months ago, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah publicly offered to place his terrorists at Assad’s disposal.
Syria's opposition warned this week that Hizbullah’s role in fighting in Homs province amounts to a "declaration of war," while the terrorist group said it is merely protecting Lebanese people.
Analysts told AFP on Wednesday that Hizbullah’s decision to fight openly alongside the Syrian regime will increase Lebanon's involvement in Syria's conflict, despite a policy of neutrality.
Despite the inflaming tensions, however, the country is unlikely to face serious instability as a result, because none of its political forces have an interest in such a scenario for now, the analysts added.
"Hizbullah’s public involvement is no longer the world's worst-kept secret, and now we are in a crisis where the Lebanese are not only politically divided... but also militarily divided," Ghassan al-Azzi, a professor of political science at the Lebanese University, told AFP.
"Hizbullah’s involvement in the Syrian crisis now involves all of Lebanon because we've heard from the other side calls to fight jihad alongside the opposition to the Syrian regime," he added, referring to Lebanon's Sunni community.