Hezbollah areas hit by rockets in Beirut

Hezbollah areas hit by rockets in Beirut

Suspected to be fired by Syrian rebels who warned it A Hezbollah chief had given a call to support Assad govtA Beirut: Two rockets crashed...

  • Suspected to be fired by Syrian rebels who warned it A
  • Hezbollah chief had given a call to support Assad govtA
Beirut: Two rockets crashed into southern Beirut suburbs controlled by the militant Shiite group Hezbollah on Sunday, wounding four people. The attack, the first on the group's Beirut stronghold since the hostilities in Syria broke out two years ago, raised anxieties here that the fighting next door was beginning to revive Lebanon's own sectarian conflicts.
Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, declared Saturday in the strongest terms yet that the group had become a major combatant in Syria, taking the side of President Bashar Al Assad and vowing to fight to the end to defeat the rebellion and defend Lebanon and the region from jihadist extremists. Nasrallah said that Hezbollah would always stand by its ally, President Bashar Al Assad, and his regime, stressing that its own interests were at stake. Some Hezbollah supporters said on Sunday that they suspected Syrian rebels, who are mainly Sunni Muslims, or the Lebanese Sunni militants who support them, of mounting the rocket attack. The streets of Beirut remained calm, but the attack alarmed officials in Lebanon, which has yet to fully recover from its own long civil war, even though major fighting ended in 1990. Sectarian skirmishes still periodically occur in the streets, with some of the worst violence in years breaking out last week in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. But rocket attacks have been very rare.
Chemical weapons used: Reporters
French newspaper Le Monde reported that the Syrian army is using chemical weapons against rebel forces. A The journalists "witnessed over several consecutive days" the use of explosive chemical weapons and their effects on rebel fighters in the village of Jobar on the outskirts of the capital, reporter Jean-Philippe Remy wrote. Photographer Laurent Van der Stockt reported that on April 13 he saw fighters "suffocating and vomiting" in the area after an apparent attack using chemical weapons.
Syria to attend Geneva summit
Moscow (IANS/RIA Novosti): Damascus will attend next month's peace conference in Geneva aimed at helping resolve the country's crisis, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said. President Bashar Al Assad's regime has agreed "in principle to participate in the international conference which is supposed to be convened in Geneva", Aljazeera quoted Muallem as saying. "We think that the international conference represents a good opportunity for a political solution to the crisis in Syria," Muallem said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after a Moscow meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this month that the two countries had decided to hold an international conference, aimed at facilitating a solution to the Syrian crisis through political dialogue.
UN concerned over regional spillover
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday expressed extreme concern over the increasing risk of the spillover of the Syrian unrest to Lebanon, urging respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region. "The secretary-general has consistently opposed the transfer of arms and fighters from outside Syria to either side inside Syria," the statement said. "He has repeatedly urged respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region."
Scores of Hezbollah fighters killed
Beirut (PTI): At least 79 members of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah have been killed fighting alongside the Syrian army in the town of Qusayr since last week, a watchdog said on Monday. "The number of Lebanese Hezbollah fighters killed in recent months in the outskirts of Damascus and Homs has risen to 141," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement. "That includes 79 fighters killed from the period starting at dawn on May 19 to dawn yesterday, killed by mines, snipers and fighting in the town of Qusayr and its surroundings," the group added. On Sunday, a source close to Hezbollah said the group's toll in several months of fighting was 110, most of them killed in Qusayr. Hezbollah has been sending fighters to fight alongside the Syrian army against rebels for several months. But the battle to retake rebel stronghold Qusayr in the central province of Homs has been its biggest and bloodiest engagement so far.
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