Syrian President Bashar Assad has told the head of Lebanon's Journalists Union Melhem Karam that North Lebanon had become "a real base for extremism and constitutes a danger for Syria." Syria denounced the bomb attack in the Northern Lebanese city of Tripoli Monday that killed five soldiers, two days after a deadly car bombing in the Syrian capital killed 17 people.
In the interview which will be published on Friday in Hawadeth magazine, Assad conveyed that Lebanese President Michel Sleiman's visit to Syria last month had helped lead to a new phase in relations between Lebanon and Syria, in which both countries were able to overcome the past differences. Forging relations with Lebanon did not mean that Syria would intervene in Lebanon's domestic affairs, the Syrian leader said. "I told President [Michel] Sleiman that Syria supports him," he said.