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Beirut: Hezbollah arms national power

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman has referred to Hezbollah’s arms as part of the country’s firepower and tied to a national defense strategy.

“The national defense strategy means unification of national capabilities in order to implement its policy to defend the nation,” Lebanese portal Naharnet quoted Sleiman as saying on Friday.

The president underscored that “the resistance arms are a positive capability” and not a negative one.

The comments come amid continued US and Israeli claims that Syria is supplying the Lebanese resistance movement with Russian-made Scud missiles.

Damascus, Beirut and the resistance movement itself have rejected the claims. Standing by the allegation, however, Washington and Tel Aviv have issued warning messages against Damascus.

The Lebanese president said that the claims were meant to create division in Lebanon. “I can reassure everyone that the Lebanese will not be divided.”

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri earlier likened the arms transfer claim to US allegations about Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, which Washington used as a pretext to invade the country in 2003.

“These are weapons that they did not find and they are still searching for,” he said, accusing Washington and Tel Aviv of effort “to repeat the same scenario with Lebanon.”

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