Report: Nasrallah offered Assad to meet in Lebanon
Lebanese newspaper Al-Jounhouria reported Wednesday that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah contacted Syrian President Bashar Assad after last week's terrorist attack in Damascus and offered to meet him in Lebanon and help with reinforcements. The report has not been confirmed.
Meanwhile, Russia accused the US of trying to justify terrorism against the Syrian government and berated Western nations it said had failed to condemn a bomb attack that killed senior security officials.
According to Al-Jounhouria, Nasrallah offered his condolences for the death of four top Syrian officials and proposed meeting Assad where he was staying or at the Iranian embassy in Beirut. Assad rejected the offer.
Sources told the paper that Hezbollah had drawn up a plan for military intervention in Syria in coordination with the former Syrian defense ministry who was killed in the terror attack. According to the plan, 2,000 Hezbollah members will join Assad's forces and set up missile batteries and radar systems at the Jordan Valley. The sources estimated that the plan had not changed.
Meanwhile, Russia said it has received "firm assurances" from Damascus that its Syrian chemical arsenal is "fully safeguarded", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the state-owned Itar-Tass news agency.
Moscow also said fresh European Union sanctions against Syria were "counterproductive" adding that it would not recognize measures it viewed as a de-facto blockade of the country.
The Foreign Ministry expressed dismay over measures requiring EU member states to inspect sea and air cargoes headed for Syria from third countries if they suspect weapons may be on board.
Also Wednesday, Turkish authorities have told the UN refugee agency that its borders with Syria will close to commercial traffic but remain open for Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict, a UNHCR spokeswoman said.