BEIRUT (Press TV) – Lebanon’s caretaker Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe has indirectly blamed the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf region for the rise of the Daesh terrorist group.
“Those countries of love, friendship and fraternity — they brought us Daesh and planted it in the plains of Nineveh and Anbar and Palmyra,” he told Al Hurra television during an interview late on Monday, without naming any country.
Nineveh and Anbar are provinces in Iraq, and Palmyra is a city in Syria. They were all captured by Daesh in 2014, before the terrorist group was crushed in the two countries in 2017.
When asked if by “those countries,” he meant the Arab states in the Persian Gulf region, Wehbe declined to name any specific countries. But answering another question about whether those Arab states had funded Daesh, he said, “Who funded them then, was it me?!”
Wehbe said the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance group defended Lebanon’s sovereignty against Zionist regime war and occupation.
Hezbollah was established following the 1982 invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon by the Zionist regime. Since then, the movement has grown into a powerful military and political force, dealing repeated blows to the Zionist regime’s military, including during a 33-day war in July 2006.
The Lebanese foreign minister stressed that Hezbollah’s arms have been a “deterrent” against the Zionist regime and Daesh.
Wehbe’s remarks drew criticism from Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri — whose family’s wealth was built up in Saudi Arabia. Hariri said the remarks could damage foreign ties at a time when Lebanon was facing multiple crises.
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun also stressed that the minister’s comments had been his “personal opinion” and did not reflect official policy, praising “brotherly” ties with the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf.