A Hezbollah lawmaker is calling on Lebanon to seriously consider an offer by Iran to help its army take on the threat of the Islamic State, Lebanon's Daily Star reported Saturday.
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We call on the Lebanese and the Lebanese government to work seriously and in a responsible manner with the proposal from the Islamic Republic of Iran to assist the Lebanese Army," said MP Nawaf Musawi, who represents the Hezbollah-aligned Loyalty to the Resistance bloc, according to the Star.
Musawi expressed hope the government would study the matter very seriously and make a decision because the Army is in need of appropriate weapons to face the takfiri groups, referring to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, and the Nusra Front.
There are no guarantees to prevent the takfiri forces from coming to Lebanon except to commit to arms and be ready for confrontation along the Lebanese border with Syria, he said. This is why our mission expanded. Just we were concerned with the Zionist enemy, we have become concerned as well with the takfiri enemy. And we have defeated them everywhere we confronted them.
Iran announced Tuesday that it would support financially the Lebanese Army, Ali Shamkhani, the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council said. The rise of hardline militants in Syria such as Islamic State presents a shared foe for Shi'ite Iran and its enemies, Sunni Saudi Arabia and the United States.
"The Islamic Republic decided to give a military grant to the Lebanese Army," Shamkhani told reporters in Beirut on Tuesday.
The Lebanese Army has been stepping up efforts to prevent Sunni Muslim fighters from Syria entering Lebanese border towns. In August, the northern town of Arsal was the scene of the deadliest spillover of fighting in the three-year-old civil war in Syria.