MOSCOW, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - Lebanon is not ready to join the international coalition against the Islamic State (IS) and other insurgent groups in the Middle East, and is unwilling to do so, due to the fact that the anti-terror efforts are led by Washington, military analyst Amin Khatit told RIA Novosti.
Khatit said Friday that "Lebanon refuses to join international coalitions, despite the UN calls," since the country "Will not be able to withstand the consequences of the participation in the multinational coalition at any level – militarily, economically and politically."
The fact that "the United States heads the international coalition against the IS today, while the United States is historically an ally of our enemy Israel," Khatit added Friday, is another reason for Beirut to refrain from taking part in this particular coalition.
Khatit however stressed that Lebanon has been conducting its own counter-terrorism operations for years, such as the 2007 clashes with Fatah al-Islam militants in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp for Palestinians.
Commenting on the airstrikes against terrorists in Iraq and Syria, carried out by the US forces, the expert argued that "the strikes will not reach the territory of Lebanon in the foreseeable future," since the Lebanese army itself efficiently battles the IS forces in the area of Arsal.
The IS jihadist group has proclaimed a caliphate across the territories it seized across Syria and Iraq. The group has also repeatedly clashed with the Lebanese government forces near Arsal, a city, bordering with Syria.
Washington launched airstrikes against the IS targets in Iraq in August and extended them to Syria earlier in this week, within the framework of US President Barack Obama's anti-terror strategy.