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mouawad michel 2Independence Movement leader Michel Mouawad condemned on Monday the clashes in the southern city of Sidon and the attack against the army and demanded that all sides grant the army complete cover to defend itself.

He said: “The developments in Sidon demonstrate that ignoring the spread of illegitimate arms, regardless of the identity of their sectarian owners, poses a danger to the army, state, stability, and entire Lebanese entity.”

He made his remarks after calling Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji to condole him over the victims of the army during the Sidon unrest.

Mouawad demanded that all sides “grant the army complete cover to defend itself and rejected the concept of imposing “security through the appeasement of all powers.”

“The state with its political and military agencies are the sole guarantors of stability and security,” he stressed.

“Any arms outside the legitimacy of the state pose a threat to us all,” he warned.

In addition, he voiced his support to the initiative of Former PM and current leader of the Future Movement bloc MP Fouad Siniora, who demanded that an end be made to Hezbollah’s armed presence in Sidon, “which is the main reason for the spread of illegitimate arms in the city.”

Lebanese army commandos seized Monday the Mosque complex belonging to militant Islamist Sheikh Ahmad Al-Assir in the southern coastal city of Sidon, in the second day of clashes between the military and gunmen loyal to the militant preacher that have claimed the lives of at least 17 soldiers and more than 25 gunmen.

Earlier today Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said in an interview that the “phenomenon” of Sunni cleric Assir was a reaction to Hezbollah’s activities in Lebanon, calling on all Lebanese to support the army and state.

“The phenomenon of Hezbollah produced several other phenomenons, including that of Assir.” It is not about [the proliferation of] weapons, but rather mini-states leading to more mini-states,” Geagea said
“Assir is a big problem, but Hezbollah is the one that is taking [Lebanon] as hostage.”

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