Report: Hezbollah withdrawing troops from Syria

Intelligence sources tell London Times only a few thousand Hezbollah fighters left in Syria. Assad: Too early to say whether I'll run for reelection

Hezbollah has begun withdrawing some of its troops fighting for President Bashar Assad in Syria, diplomatic and intelligence sources in Beirut told the London Times.


“There were close to 10,000 fighters in Syria but it’s less than that now, a few thousand,” a senior diplomatic source said.


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Sources close to Hezbollah denied that it had acted because of political pressure, claiming it was due to tactical considerations on the ground.


On Thursday, Lebanon's Naharnet website quoted a newspaper report that said that Hezbollah was considering withdrawing its forces from Syria. According to the report, the group is holding consultations with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman about a troop withdrawal.


However a source close to Hezbollah stressed that "Hezbollah is still in Syria and will only leave after the completion of the moves that led it to get involved in the fighting."


On Thursday, a Syrian source told Russian media that inspectors have started dismantling the country's chemical stockpile. The New York Times also reported that the team of inspectors has taken first steps towards chemical disarmament.


Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad said it was still too early to say whether he'll run for re-election in next year's presidential vote.


Assad said "the picture will be clearer" in the next four to five months because Syria is going though "rapid" changes on the ground.


He spoke in an interview with Turkish television channel Halk TV, aired late Thursday.


He also told Turkey it will pay a heavy price for backing rebels fighting to oust him, accusing it of harboring "terrorists" along its border who would soon turn against their hosts.



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פרסום ראשון: 10.04.13, 14:41
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