Lebanese Speaker to Asharq Al-Awsat: We Will not be Lured into War by Israel

Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri. dpa
Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri. dpa
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Lebanese Speaker to Asharq Al-Awsat: We Will not be Lured into War by Israel

Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri. dpa
Lebanese Speaker Nabih Berri. dpa

Speaker Nabih Berri has accused Israel of deliberately creating a scenario designed to lure Lebanon into war, saying “we will continue to exercise self-restraint.”

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat published on Monday, Berri said that the unprecedented Israeli attacks on Lebanon, mainly the South and the East, come “as part of efforts to lure us to war.”

“But we will not be dragged to an open war and we will continue to exercise self-restraint and to absorb the Israeli aggression that reached its peak in the past two days by turning most villages and towns situated south of the Litani river into dilapidated and uninhabitable areas.”

Berri slammed Israel for its "systematic destruction of dozens of towns in the South, whether those lying along the border with the occupied Palestinian territories, or those deeper” inside Lebanon.

He reiterated that Lebanon “will not be provoked and will not take the decision to expand the war.”

Hezbollah has been trading fire with Israel across Lebanon's southern border since Oct. 8, a day after Hamas launched an attack on Israel that triggered Israel's war in Gaza and led to escalating regional tensions.

Hezbollah has been firing rockets and Israel launching airstrikes and artillery shells.

Berri told Asharq Al-Awsat that the international community was aware that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was threatening to expand the war in Gaza to southern Lebanon.

A source close to Berri’s Amal movement and Hezbollah said that the speaker was coordinating with US envoy Amos Hochstein to stop the war and implement Security Council Resolution 1701.

Berri's negotiations with Hochstein have received Hezbollah's "unconditional" support, the source added.

 

 



Iraq Says No Green Light to Turkish Operations in Kurdistan

Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
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Iraq Says No Green Light to Turkish Operations in Kurdistan

Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said on Friday his country hasn’t given Türkiye the green light to carry out operations in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

In televised remarks, he said the Baghdad government needs to hold more “security discussions with Turkish officials, even though it recognizes that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is also an Iraqi problem.”

He added that the Turkish army has been deployed in some Iraqi territories since 1991.

The deployment will be discussed during meetings with Turkish officials that will be held soon, he revealed.

Previous discussions with Türkiye did not yield an agreement over the security file, continued the FM. Türkiye is tying its deployment to the presence of the PKK.

Given that the group is present in Iraq, then it must also be dealt with in an “Iraqi way,” he went on to say.

The Turkish military’s incursion of 40 kms inside Iraqi territory had sparked widespread political and popular uproar.

Iraq’s national security council convened to address the issue.

Spokesman of the armed forces Yahya Rasool said the council tackled the Turkish violations and interference in the joint Iraqi-Turkish border regions.

He stressed Baghdad’s rejection of the incursion and undermining of Iraq’s territorial integrity.

Türkiye must respect the principles of good neighborliness and work diplomatically with the Iraqi government and coordinate with it over any security issue, he added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani had dispatched a delegation led by the national security council head to Kurdistan to discuss general affairs and come up with a unified position over Iraq’s sovereignty.