Q&A: ‘Hezbollah forces are present inside Damascus’ - activist

February 27, 2013

By Ahmed Kwider

Muhammad al-Ashmar is a spokesman for the group Nabid al-Asimat Dimashq and lives in Damascus.

Q: Is it necessary for the armed opposition to escalate the battle with Hezbollah for the revolution to succeed militarily?

 A: The FSA operates according to what’s happening on the ground. At this stage every armed element inside Syria who fights for the regime is a legitimate target for the FSA. The FSA will not hesitate confronting any force whether it’s a government force or a Lebanese one.

Q: What are the risks Hezbollah is taking by supporting the regime? What are the dangers threatening the Shiites inside Syria because of Hezbollah’s position on the revolution?

 A: Hezbollah is an armed organization that has openly supported this failing regime in its war against its citizens with arms and fighters since the revolution began. The war between this armed entity and the Syrian people started long ago and will continue until they withdraw all its forces from Syria.

As for our fellow Shiite citizens, the rebels on the ground are mature and would not tolerate the actions of anyone who shed Syrian blood. Killing on grounds of the sect is the regime’s tactic. What we’re about is bringing down this regime, God willing.

Q: Could Syria enter into the sectarian conflict in Lebanon?

A: All Syrians, whether Shiites, Alawites, Sunnis or Druze, have always peacefully coexisted before this gang seized power in Syria. Cordiality among these sects is not new, but since this blessed uprising began, we started to hear certain phrases in the state media. The shabiha militia started to kill people on the grounds of sects, which generated sectarian reactions. Thank God, our revolution is characterized by diversity and this is why it’s strong. This is why the regime failed to drag it into a civil war.

Q: Is there any chance Hezbollah might change its position?

This armed entity will never give up on the Syrian regime.

 Q: Do you think Hezbollah is interested in dividing Syria?

A: The regime, backed by Hezbollah, has been trying to divide Syria for a while now. They’ve started to do so since Hezbollah forces tried to engage in the Homs front line through al-Qusayr.

Q: Is Hezbollah trying to expand Lebanese Shiite territories by controlling land inside Syria?

A: They have started to do so a while ago, and it’s now obvious after the battles that take place every day in al-Qusayr in Homs and in many areas near the borders. Hezbollah forces are also present inside Damascus. Many Hezbollah elements are now guarding Sayida Zainab’s grave [Daughter of Muhammad] in the southern part of the capital.