Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea backed on Wednesday Beirut MPs’ call for arms-free capital and added that all of Lebanon should be free of non-state weapons.
“Not only do we demand the disarmament of non-state groups in Beirut, but this should be the case in all of Lebanon as well,” Geagea said during an interview with Free Lebanon radio station , stressing that Lebanon would be living in “very flawed” circumstances if such a goal is not achieved. A possible reference to Hezbollah’s use of their arms against the Lebanese citizens in May 2008.
Geagea questioned the official authorities’ ability to achieve this goal, saying that no arms had been confiscated and no gunmen have been arrested in any of the armed clashes that had erupted in Lebanon over the past few years.
He was commenting on a report that quoted Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn as saying that Al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist cells infiltrated Lebanon through the Bekaa border town of Aarsal.
“Why [should we try to scare the people with [unfounded stories] if the report [turned out to be] untrue?” He added and warned against “using such tactics in order to tighten the noose on Syrian refugees pouring into Lebanon.”
On Monday, Beirut MPs demanded that Beirut be established as an arms-free city after the frequent armed clashes that have erupted in the city in recent years.
Two men were wounded last week when a dispute over a parking lot developed into a gunfight in the west Beirut neighborhood of Zaydaniyeh. Following the clash, local gunmen were deployed in the area.
The incident came shortly after an armed clash reportedly broke out in the Beirut neighborhood of Burj Abi Haidar, though it was denied by the Lebanese Army.