Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea accused Hezbollah of harming the Lebanese army through insisting on coordination between the Lebanese and Syrian armies and Hezbollah in the ongoing battles to dislodge militants of the ISIS extremist group from the Lebanese territory.
Geagea condemned “using the issue of the kidnapped soldiers as a tool to pressure the Lebanese government into holding official talks with Syria.” He added: “There’s no coordination at all with a regime that’s more brutal than ISIS.”
Geagea also rejected any attempts by Hezbollah’s leader Nasrallah and the Assad regime to forge official lines of communication between Lebanon and Syria.
Former Lebanese minister Ashraf Rifi said in comments on social media sites that “the real liberation is through the arrest of the killers of Prime Minister Rafik Harir.” He reiterated calls for disarming Hezbollah and all other militias in Lebanon.
Rifi also called on Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah to “first recognize the state of Lebanon before calling for opening official lines of communication with the murderous Assad regime.”
Lebanese Minister of Education Marwan Hamadeh said that “the new equation put forward by Nasrallah in his speech on Thursday is a translation of the Assad regime’s attempts to re-impose its hegemony on the Lebanese state.” He blasted Hezbollah’s exploitation of the fate of the kidnapped Lebanese soldiers, adding that by Hezbollah is seeking to send a message that those soldiers cannot be freed without official coordination with the Assad regime.
The Lebanese Future Movement, led by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, responded to Nasrallah’s speech by stressing that Nasrallah is using the issue of the kidnapped soldiers “to blackmail the Lebanese government and drag it into negotiating with ISIS, in coordination and integration with the Syrian government.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Al-Hayat Newspaper)