U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday said Hizbullah, backed by Syria and Iran, is killing and injuring innocent civilians in Lebanon. Rice added that the Shiite movement is trying to protect its "state-within-a-state." Her statement was read at a State Department briefing Friday.
According to Rice, Hizbullah's violence has demonstrated "contempt for its fellow Lebanese."
She urged Iran and Syria to end their support for Hizbullah. "This support is a reflection of our unshakable commitment to the Lebanese people and their hope for democratic change," Rice said. "We will stand by the Lebanese government and peaceful citizens of Lebanon through this crisis and provide the support they need to weather this storm."