Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea said that the return of Bashar Al-Assad’s influence in Lebanon was a “red line,” stressing that the Lebanese people “must remember the bombings of Ashrafieh, Zahle, Tripoli, and who assassinated President Bachir Gemayel and the March 14 martyrs.”
Speaking after a mass ceremony for the Maronite youth in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon in Sydney, Australia on Monday, Geagea said: “We will not allow the return of Assad’s influence to Lebanon despite the large fraud currently underway.” Geagea was indirectly referring to calls by some Lebanese parties, namely Hezbollah and its allies to re-establish relations with the Assad regime under the pretext of ensuring the return of Syrian refugees to their country.
Geagea pointed out that “Iran and Hezbollah have invested heavily in Assad and thus they will do everything possible to ensure he survives in power under the pretext of the issue of refugees.”
“If we really want to guarantee the return of Syrian refugees to their country, we should not talk with Bashar Al-Assad. We should rather talk with the United nations and the concerned countries to find the best ways for the refugees to return,” Geagea added.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) previously said that it does not see the current circumstances in Syria appropriate for the safe return of refugees. The Hezbollah militia and their allies have been putting increasing pressure on Syrian refugees in Lebanon to force them to surrender to Assad and his regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)