Hariri defends Lebanese army’s role in trying to liberate Arsal


hariri 2014ariFormer Lebanese Prime Minister and Future Movement leader Saad Hariri defended the Lebanese Army’s role , in trying to liberate Arsal from the Islamist militant groups .

“There is no place for the Takfiri and terrorist organizations, and there will be no leniency with its destructive mission, which is alien to the people of moderation and tolerance,” Hariri said in an interview by Al-Hayat newspaper published Monday.

Hariri said that the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and the Al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front had no choice but to leave Arsal, stressing that neither the state nor his party will tolerate their mission.

“These groups have no option but to vacate Arsal .” Hariri stressed

Red line

Hariri said that the Lebanese Army and Internal Security Forces are red lines to the Future Movement, which has a strategic and fixed stand toward Takfiri groups.

“Is this how the favor is returned to the people of Arsal, who hosted their brethren refuging from Syria and didn’t hold back any support they could give them?” Hariri asked, adding that Arsal’s residents have one mission only, and it’s the mission of the Lebanese state.

Arsal is home to 40,000 residents and 120,000 Syrian refugees.

“Have they been rewarded by being turned into hostages because they said no to these groups?” he continued, underlining that the events taking place in Arsal are a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty and the sovereignty of the state over its territory.

Hariri is expected to issue a detailed statement on the Arsal fighting soon, Future Movement sources said on Monday.

The Army had vowed Sunday to end its campaign in “48 hours,” pledging to eradicate all armed existence from the town.

The Lebanese army has been facing its most serious challenge as a military institution since it confronted armed Sunni fundamentalists in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon between May 21 and Sept. 3, 2007.

The Lebanese government is now facing the difficult test that it has been anticipating since the outbreak of the Syria crisis in March 2011.

Violent clashes broke out in Arsal between Lebanese army units and armed supporters of the Syrian opposition in the early afternoon of Aug. 2.

The clashes were triggered when the army arrested a Syrian gunman named Imad Ahmed Jumaa on suspicion of being an official of the pro-al-Qaeda group Jabhat al-Nusra. Immediately after the arrest, gunmen clashed with the army in the area, breaking into the center of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) in Arsal. Within a few hours, the fighting spread to include Jurud Arsal, the rugged outskirts of Arsal, and the surrounding areas. Dozens were killed and injured, including 11 dead and 25 wounded soldiers, and 13 soldiers who are missing. Also, an unspecified number of ISF troops were kidnapped and taken to areas controlled by Sunni fundamentalist gunmen on the Syrian side of the border.

Hezbollah plan
The clashes in Arsal marked the beginning of a comprehensive military plan carried out by Hezbollah fighters. In this context, Hezbollah sources have confirmed to Al-Monitor that the plan consists of three stages, and is in its third stage: from Arsal’s northern perimeter to the Lebanese town of Tfail — this stage has been fully implemented; from Tfail to Jurud Qalamoun in Syria — this stage was close to completion a few days ago; and combing the area surrounding Arsal — this stage is set to start in a few days. The first two stages have effectively resulted in Jurud Arsal being encircled.

According to analysts Hezbollah is slowly but surely trying to drag the Lebanese army into the Syrian conflict by using it as its shield against the radical Islamist terrorists which could have very serious consequences for Lebanon.



13 responses to “Hariri defends Lebanese army’s role in trying to liberate Arsal”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    “trying to drag the Lebanese army into the Syrian conflict” … isn’t it already?? Along with the ‘internal security’?
    IF the Army is to be the ‘defensive force’ it Should Be FOR Lebanon as a whole entity, this should not be a ‘fear’. While it’s perhaps a hard training ground, work in Arsal has value if it has success … no matter if Hezzys pushed the ‘Takfiri bastards’ into the city or not.
    Considering the state that Syrian Occupation left the LAF in after too many years of occupation, they needed time on a learning curve as well as supplies. If Nahr al-Bared was an initial move to develop resolve, and Tripoli has been some (politically belated) success in getting out the ‘armed-gang-mentalities’ which made it hell for the residents, then Arsal could prove to be a melding of the whole concept … ONE Military for ONE country and the defence of same.

    And if Hezzy wants to fight for Assad in Syria, and El Supremo in Iraq, but stays out of Lebanon after this with it’s aggravating ‘resistance’ of what could become a viable neighbour to the south, it is the LAF which will BE Lebanon’s Army. Which IS what most people should be happy with.
    If they want a Lebanon.

    And no matter what the ‘religious slant’ of the politicians is, the ones who also want to promote a ‘free and mixed society’ in the country without the daily fear of some religious precept making life impossible to stomach – which seems to have been the premise of the adverts for often-wary tourists – there may also come some serious thinking about the need for some infrastructure without fear that a little militia will screw it up for the majority, because the LAF defends the border and it’s country – under the rules of The State developed by a democracy allowed to function.
    Support the LAF.

    1. MekensehParty Avatar

      What you’re saying is very true and the foundation to any real state but you’re forgetting one tragic element: the power of the opponent.
      IS broke the bone of two of the ex-biggest militaries in the region: the Syrian and Iraqi armies combined and at the same time, and lately it gave a taste to the Kurds of its sweeping force.
      And here lays the long term danger.
      Let’s be extremely positive and go for the best case scenario on the short term: LAF cleans Arsal and the surroundings in less than a week taking minimum casualties and exterminating 5k fanatics. Great victory. Divine ya khaye.
      Then comes “mainland IS” with hundreds of thousands taking Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Damascus and now that Lebanon is officially fighting IS at the behest of Hezbollah, they will turn to Beirut and “Free” Arsal, Tripoli, Saida…
      This is the long term loss. The LAF has declared war on the Caliph. A war Lebanon is supposed to have nothing to do with…

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        Yes. But the Caliph would have always wanted the beaches anyway. An early start might hold them off long enough for all non-Muslims to evacuate before losing their heads. Imagine waiting too long, then having no-where to run except Israel. 😉
        Horror on horror.
        The ‘other types of Muslims’ at least have a small handle on the ‘book codes’.
        The Druze and Jumblatt will just shmooze right in.
        (They were afraid of Geagea?? hohohohoho)

        I guess tourism will be out of the question soon … :-((

        1. MekensehParty Avatar

          Yes he does want the beaches and even beyond, but those beaches would have been really tough to reach if they haven’t executed moderates in Lebanon which allowed for fanaticism to grow, if they stayed in Lebanon to protect its borders and people hand in hand with the army or even better as a part of it. Today IS has a strong presence in all Sunni majority cities, which is what they need to infiltrate faster.
          It’s too late to save anything, the dices have been rolled already and they can’t back down. But lets not fool ourselves, even if it survives the present skirmishes, the LAF is doomed.

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar

            We can cheer them into the mists of time … still … I guess.

          2. MekensehParty Avatar

            Go LAF!!!

          3. 5thDrawer Avatar

            From the sounds of Tripoli tonight, I think Hariri and Mikati better get back home to join Berri and Jumblatt picking up some guns. Now.
            Geagea must be working …. somewhere.

          4. MekensehParty Avatar

            What’s going on in Tripoli Mr. Mayor? 😉

          5. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Hi Mekenseh … Seems the Army still has control mostly.
            Women and kids kept up all night by the ‘night-fighters’ … less of what one calls ‘pop pop pop’ in the daytime. The three months of ‘calm’ is gone … again. The ‘voices outside’ at night didn’t burst in the door this time, at least, while they huddle on the floor in the dark …. electricity being at a ‘premium’ and having gone out all over at some point anyway …
            Hope their water supply lasts ….
            And that’s all I can give you for now.
            The ‘anxiety’ never leaves them.

            By the way, I read that the ‘drive-by grenade motor-scooter’ folks lobbed one in the direction of the recently re-built KFC. What the Halal do they have against chickens?? Not ‘Kosher’ enough? :-)))

          6. MekensehParty Avatar

            Why the KFC always????
            They hate this goddam KFC
            I’d hate being the owner of that restaurant
            is his name Ali Eid maybe?

          7. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Maybe his chips are not crispy enough … although they stole all those before they burned it last time. I think he’s refusing to pay the ‘protection’ fees … but can’t be many customers, since no-one, and certainly not the women, is making any money. One businessman left town after 20 years there in business, because he couldn’t afford what the gang was demanding.
            By the way, it’s similar to the way ISIS got their 2 billion account started … admire the businessman who won’t pay.
            Unless it is Ali Eid … hehehe

  2. gorilasan Avatar

    That’s how the Takfiris pay their host, it’s disgusting, terrorism on big scale. Ungrateful human beings, shame on them.

    The people of Arsal hosted them gave them shelter and safety and cared for them, now they are attacking them and taking them hostages.

    They should sit down and reflect on their appalling deplorable act.

  3. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Very good analytical piece about what ISIS actually is … on BBC …

    3 Quoted parts …
    “The fact that Isis – the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which has now changed its name to the Islamic State – claims that it wants to restore an early type of Islam, leads many of us to see it as trying to bring about a reversion to mediaeval values.
    To my mind, this gives too much credence to the way Isis views itself. There’s actually little in common between the horribly repressive regime it has established in parts of Iraq and Syria and the subtle Islamic states of mediaeval times, which in Spain, for example, exercised a degree of tolerance at a time when the rest of Europe was wracked by persecution. Destroying ancient shrines and mosques, Isis is trying to eradicate every trace of Islamic tradition. It’s probably even more oppressive than the Taliban were in Afghanistan.” (or Boko Haram in Istanbul)
    In power, Isis resembles a 20th Century totalitarian state more than any type of traditional rule.”

    “Isis makes effective use of the internet to broadcast the brutal manner with which it deals with anyone judged to be an enemy. Isis’s savagery isn’t impulsive. Everything suggests it’s a strategy developed over a number of years. When it posts videos of people being beheaded or shot, Isis advances several of its goals – simultaneously inspiring dread in its enemies, teaching the communities it controls the dire consequences of departing from an exceptionally extreme interpretation of Islam and sowing chaos in the population as a whole. There’s nothing mediaeval about this mix of ruthless business enterprise, well-publicised savagery and transnational organised crime. Dedicated to building a new society from scratch, Isis has more in common with modern revolutionary movements.”

    “Though al-Baghdadi constantly invokes the early history of Islam, the society he envisions has no precedent in history. It’s much more like the impossible state of utopian harmony that western revolutionaries have projected into the future. Some of the thinkers who developed radical Islamist ideas are known to have been influenced by European anarchism and communism, especially by the idea that society can be reshaped by a merciless revolutionary vanguard using systematic violence. The French Jacobins and Lenin’s Bolsheviks, the Khmer Rouge and the Red Guards all used terror as a way of cleansing humanity of what they regarded as moral corruption.”

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