Hezbollah will not tolerate the presence of any “terrorist takfiri bastions on both sides of the Lebanese-Syrian border” after the prisoner swap deal between Lebanon and al-Nusra Front, a top party official announced on Sunday.
“This deal will not change the fact that the terrorist, takfiri al-Nusra Front is still occupying Lebanese territory,” Sheikh Nabil Qaouq, the deputy head of Hezbollah's Executive Council, said.
The swap has “exposed headquarters, friendships and extensions for the takfiri al-Nusra Front inside Lebanon,” Qaouq warned.
“The deal that freed the servicemen does not at all mean that the score has been settled with the terrorist killers. The battlefields know that we are the heroes of war and the achievers of victory and Arsal's outskirts, Qalamoun, Rankous and Yabroud are witnesses that we have defeated them wherever we have encountered them,” the cleric added.
“We will not tolerate the presence of any terrorist takfiri bastions on both sides of the Lebanese-Syrian border, because remaining silent over these posts would represent a direct and permanent threat to Lebanon,” he warned.
Qaouq, however, noted that “the duty of liberating the takiri-occupied Lebanese land falls on the State.”
He cautioned that “these takfiris are awaiting the chance to pounce on Lebanon once again through sending car bombs, carrying out abductions or shelling certain regions.”
Sixteen Lebanese troops and policemen were freed last week in a swap deal with Nusra Front that also saw the release of over two dozen inmates from Lebanese and Syrian prisons.
Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah played a role in the mediations that preceded the agreement, according to General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim.
The servicemen were kidnapped in August 2014 during deadly battles between the Lebanese army and a joint effort between Daesh and Nusra Front in and around Arsal.
Nine other servicemen remain in Daesh captivity.
The two groups are still entrenched in mountainous areas along the Lebanese-Syrian border.
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material