Friends of Syria call on Hezbollah to 'stop meddling' in Syria
Countries supporting Syria's rebels demanded on Saturday that Iran and Hezbollah stop meddling in the country's civil war, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.
"In the text that we have just released, we have demanded that Iran and Hezbollah end their intervention in the conflict," said Fabius, referring to their support for the regime of Bashar Assad.
"Hezbollah has played a terribly negative role, mainly in the attack on Qusayr," which was recaptured from rebels earlier this month with the group's help.
"We are fully against the internationalization of the conflict," he told reporters following a meeting of foreign ministers of the so-called Friends of Syria in Doha.
Earlier at the opening of the meeting, Qatar FM Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani called on Lebanon to halt the involvement of any party in the conflict in the neighboring country Syria.
“The Lebanese government should stop the intervention of any party in the Syrian conflict,” he said.
To that end, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also while addressing the FMs said that Syrian President Bashar Assad “escalated the conditions by seeking support from Iran and Lebanese fighters,” in a reference to Hezbollah.
Kerry accused Assad of an "internationalization" of the conflict which has claimed nearly 100,000 lives by bringing in the support of Iran and Hezbollah.
Arab and Western assistance to the rebels has taken on new urgency after loyalist forces made key gains on the battlefield in recent weeks with support from Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group.
They have retaken the strategic central town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border and are trying to oust rebels fighters from footholds around Damascus which they have used as launchpads for attacks inside the capital.
Hezbollah's intervention has raised tensions in Lebanon, where many Sunnis back the Sunni-led uprising against Assad, whose Alawite faith is an offshoot of Shiite Islam.