Lebanon politician warns Hezbollah

Druze leader challenges Hassan Nasrallah in surprisingly blunt televised speech.

    Nasrallah's Hezbollah commands the loyalty of a large segment of the country's Shia population  [Reuters]

    Jumblatt's speech comes days before a mass rally planned for the third anniversary of the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister.

    Sherine Tadros, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Beirut, said that Jumblatt was aware that what he said was an escalation of tensions, and he was certainly not apologetic for it.

    "This is really the first time that Walid Jumblatt ... essentially talks about war. He talked about being ready for war and ready for chaos in very blunt and provocative terms.

    "He also talked about Hezbollah, talking directly to Hassan Nasrallah [in his speech], instead of what we're usually used to hearing, which is March 14 directing their harsh comments towards Syria and Iran.

    "He said he was ready to take away Hezbollah's Katusha rockets, when the disarming of Hezbollah is a very sensitive subject in Lebanon.

    Tadros said Hezbollah considers the remarks inflammatory but has yet to issue an official response.

    "A lot of people will be watching to see whether Hezbollah will have a harder line now for the government," she said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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