Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

'Ice Bucket Challenge' angers anti-abortion activists

Read more

#TECH 24

Tomorrow's Transport Today

Read more

FOCUS

Mothers and children leaving Honduras at all costs

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US journalist Peter Theo Curtis freed in Syria

Read more

ENCORE!

An art wonderland: A burnt-out piano, a bed in a box and a giant magic mushroom

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Historian Jean Garrigues: 'For the first time, Hollande knows what he is doing'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Russian troops have entered Ukraine, says Kiev

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

Middle east

US calls on Hezbollah to leave Syrian conflict

© AFP

Video by Jasper MORTIMER

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-05-30

The United States demanded Wednesday that Lebanon's militant group Hezbollah cease fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad's forces and leave Syria, calling their presence in the conflict a "dangerous escalation".

The United States on Wednesday demanded the immediate withdrawal of Lebanese Hezbollah fighters from Syria, saying their active role in combat there was an "extremely dangerous escalation."

"This is an unacceptable and extremely dangerous escalation. We demand that Hezbollah withdraw its fighters from Syria immediately," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah confirmed last week that the Lebanese Shiite movement was actively fighting on the side of its close ally, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in the Syrian town of Qusayr near the border.

Psaki also condemned the "outrageous attack" on a Lebanese army checkpoint near the border on Tuesday that killed three soldiers.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, which was condemned by the Lebanese government and Hezbollah.

"These and other incidents are stark reminders that the conflict in Syria poses an incredibly dangerous threat to Lebanon's stability, the people of Lebanon and security," she said.

"We call on all parties to do their part to act with restraint and respect Lebanon's stability and security."

Hezbollah, which battled Israeli forces for nearly two decades before their 2000 withdrawal from Lebanon, had long insisted its arsenal of rockets and other weapons would only be used to defend Lebanon from its southern neighbor.

But Nasrallah has said the group must now defend Assad's regime against an uprising increasingly dominated by hardline Sunni Islamists who view Shiites and Assad's offshoot Alawite sect as apostates.

Hezbollah's involvement in Syria has raised fears the conflict could spill over into Lebanon, where deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian regime have periodically erupted in the northern city of Tripoli.

Syria has long been a crucial conduit for arms supplied to Hezbollah by its chief patron Iran. Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and some Palestinian groups view themselves as an axis of "resistance" against Israel and the West.

Hezbollah is believed to have sent at least 1,700 fighters to Qusayr more than a week ago to support the regime's assault on the rebel stronghold. France estimates that 3,000 to 4,000 Hezbollah fighters are operating in Syria.

Hundreds of civilians have reportedly been killed in Qusayr and thousands could be trapped. The United Nations estimates that more than 70,000 people have been killed since the initially peaceful uprising began in March 2011.

(AFP)

 

Date created : 2013-05-29

  • SYRIA

    Syrian rebel chief warns Hezbollah over aiding Assad

    Read more

  • FRANCE 24 EXCLUSIVE

    Crossing into Syria with Lebanese pro-Assad militia

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Scores of pro-Assad Hezbollah fighters killed in Qusair

    Read more

COMMENT(S)