Nasrallah Denies Receiving Chemical Weapons from Syria

Hezbollah leader denies claims that his group had received chemical weapons from Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

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Elad Benari,

Hassan Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah denied on Monday that his group had received chemical weapons from Syria.

In a televised speech, Nasrallah was responding to accusations by members of the Syrian National Coalition opposition group, who said last month that President Bashar Al-Assad had transferred chemical weapons to the Lebanese group to avoid inspection after agreeing to put them under international control.

Last week a Saudi newspaper claimed that Assad was using tunnels to smuggle chemical weapons to Hizbullah.

"This accusation is truly laughable," Nasrallah said, as quoted by Reuters. "We understand the dimensions and background of these accusations, and these have dangerous consequences for Lebanon.”

He added, "We decisively and conclusively deny these accusations which have absolutely no basis in truth."

Nasrallah called for a political solution in Syria, urging Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab countries that have backed the rebels to "review their positions."

"A gamble on a military resolution and on military success is a losing and destructive gamble," he said.

The intervention of Hezbollah in Syria has raised fears among some Lebanese that their country could become engulfed by its much larger neighbor's conflict, which has killed over 100,000 people.

Initially Hezbollah said it wanted only to defend 13 Syrian villages along the border where Lebanese Shiites live, but its terrorists later encircled the village of Qusayr with regime troops before the launch of a withering assault on the strategic border town. Nasrallah has promised that his group will be wherever is needed in Syria and has even declared he was willing to go fight in Syria himself.

Rocket and bomb attacks have hit Hezbollah strongholds in the Bekaa Valley and in the capital, the worst of which was a car bomb that killed 20 people in southern Beirut last month.

Nasrallah’s interview came as Lebanese security forces replaced Hezbollah forces at checkpoints in the southern suburb which the Shiite group had set up after the car bomb.

Nasrallah said the group welcomed the deployment of the security forces and urged residents to cooperate with them.