12 years after Syria pullout, Lebanese wary of Iran

Syria withdrew from Lebanon in 2005 following PM Hariri's assassination

12 years after Syria pullout, Lebanese wary of Iran

World Bulletin / News Desk

Twelve years has passed since Syria pulled out troops from Lebanon following the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, which triggered an uprising over Syria's alleged involvement in his murder.

Now, however, many Lebanese believe the Syrian influence in their country has been replaced by Iran, a close ally to the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

"The Syrian regime withdrew from Lebanon, after it became a necessity to put an end to this occupation and this was what the Lebanese did in 2005,” retired army general Wahba Qatisha told Anadolu Agency.

Syria entered Lebanon in 1976 as part of an Arab peacekeeping force shortly after the Lebanese civil war broke out.

As part of the 1989 Taif agreement ending the Lebanese war, Syria was to withdraw from the country in two stages over two years, but this never happened until Hariri's assassination triggered mass protests that forced Damascus to withdraw its forces from Lebanon in 2005.

“At that time, the Lebanese people were against this occupation and were ready to resist it politically," said Qatisha, an adviser to Lebanese political leader Samir Geagea.

He argued that Hariri had been killed over his plans to lead a parliamentary opposition to the Syrian military presence in Lebanon.

"It is regrettable that the Syrian guardianship has been replaced by that of Syria's regional allies," he said, citing Iran and the Shia Hezbollah group.

"The Lebanese people, however, still reject this Iranian domination and are fighting to get rid of it," Qatisha said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Nisan 2017, 14:14