Sunni bloc scolds Hezbollah

Aug. 20, 2013 at 11:14 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council called on Hezbollah to pull its fighters out of Syria, saying the Shiite group was acting irresponsibly.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said Friday he was advocating a broader role in the Syrian conflict to take on Sunni radicals fighting pro-government forces. His speech followed a bombing in a southern Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut that left more than 20 people dead.

GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani said Tuesday the speech last week was irresponsible and in contrast to the need for self-restraint in Lebanon.

Zayani said Hezbollah's role was blatant interference in Syrian affairs and put Lebanon's national security at risk, the official Bahrain News Agency reported. He said Hezbollah should remove its fighters from Syrian territory.

Bahrain is a founding member of the six-member trade block comprised of Sunni-led nations on the Arabian Peninsula.

Nasrallah last week took credit for an explosion near the southern border with Israel that injured four Israeli soldiers. The U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon said it was investigating the incident.

The European Union listed Hezbollah's military wing as a terrorist organization recently. The Shiite movement holds considerable influence over national affairs through its political arm.

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