Hezbollah Expansion Threatens all of Lebanon, UN Envoy Warns

Members of Lebanon's powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah attend the funeral of Hassan Hussein al-Hajj, a leading commander in southern Lebanon, who was killed during battles in Syria, on October 12, 2015

The Times of Israel reports:

Hezbollah’s involvement in the conflicts in Syria and more recently Iraq risks a spillover of sectarian tensions into Lebanon where the Islamic State extremist group and the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front are reported to be expanding, a UN envoy warned Friday.

Terje Roed-Larsen expressed serious concern that not only have Hezbollah and other militias continued their activities since the Security Council ordered them to disband in 2004 “but if anything they have expanded.” He also expressed concern at the reported expansion of extremist groups, mostly in Palestinian refugee camps.

He called for the urgent disbanding of all militias in his final briefing to the council before stepping down on May 31 after 12 years, saying “their growing capabilities … represent a major and dangerous threat to Lebanon’s sovereignty, stability and political independence.”

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