USUP President Ibrahim Mrad sounds alarm over Hezbollah control in southern Lebanon, calls for action to preserve Christian presence

BEIRUT — In an interview with Al-Badeel TV, President of the Universal Syriac Union Party (USUP) in Lebanon Ibrahim Mrad, has brought attention to the concerning grip of Iranian-backed Hezbollah over southern Lebanon. Mrad raised alarming allegations of systematic restrictions imposed by Hezbollah on Muslims and Christians alike in this region.

Mrad stated that Hezbollah’s agenda is aimed at the displacement of Christian villages in southern Lebanon, orchestrated through a combination of coercive measures, including armed intimidation, deliberate warfare, and economic manipulation.

He went further, asserting that the pervasive influence of Hezbollah extends beyond southern Lebanon, effectively subjecting the entire Lebanese populace to its control, with ambitions of establishing a religious state tethered to Iran’s interests. Accusations of Hezbollah’s deliberate efforts to destabilize the Lebanese state, exacerbate economic woes, and exploit vulnerabilities for territorial acquisition were also leveled by Mrad.

He held Lebanon’s major Christian parties and Beth Kerke (Bkerke), the seat of the Maronite Church, culpable for their perceived inaction in confronting Hezbollah’s encroachment, despite their mandate to safeguard Christian rights. Urging decisive action, Mrad advocated for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution No. 1559 as a vital lifeline to safeguard the dwindling Christian presence in Lebanon.

Highlighting USUP’s commitment to the US-led International Coalition to Combat Terrorism, Mrad disclosed intentions to mobilize support for grassroots movements demanding substantive action from national leaders. Emphasizing the urgency of the situation, Mrad called for a united front among Lebanese parties and MPs to formally petition the enforcement of UNSC Res. 1559.

Proposing federalism as a potential safeguard for Lebanon’s Christian community amidst eroding state sovereignty, Mrad cautioned against the looming specter of a two-state solution, dividing Lebanon into an independent entity and a Shia state aligned with Iran.

In a rallying cry to fellow Christians, Mrad implored for widespread civic action, urging them to hold their leaders accountable and demand proactive measures to stem the tide of existential threats facing Lebanon’s Christian population.